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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 



Professor Harvey Olnick 





















ALTHOUGH on appearing for the first time as the editoi 
of a literary publication, my feelings may be somewhat 
like those of a child putting on a new dress, yet I feel the 
responsibility of my position far more than its novelty ; foi 
the subject of my first essay is one not to be approached 
by me, at least, without seriousness and reverence. That 
the amount, however, of this editorial responsibility may be 
thought neither greater nor less than it really is, I must 
beg leave to state my precise share in this publication, and 
to advert to the qualifications with which I have entered 
on my task. 

In acceding to Mr. Colburn's request, that I would add 
to the English translation of Schindler's "Biography of 
Beethoven," which he was about to publish, such explanatory 
notes, characteristics, and letters as might tend more fully 
to illustrate and complete the whole, I had to subscribe to 
one clause in the agreement between Mr. Schindler and the 
publisher, namely, that the work should be given as he 
wrote it, without omission or alteration. The Notes bear- 
ing my signature, then, are all that belong to me in this 
volume. The Supplement is, however, of my collection, and 
will be found to consist of the following documents : 

Letters from Beethoven to Kapell-meister Hoffmeister and C. F. 
Peters, music publishers, relative to the sale of some of his com- 

Letter on the first appearance of Beethoven's " Fidelio." 

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine Von Arnim. 

Letter of Madame Bettine Von Arnim to Gothe. 

A Day with Beethoven. 

Beethoven's Letters to Mademoiselle Von Breuning, Wegeler 
and files. 


Bee:noven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and Hies. 

Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthoi 
Theatre, Vienna. 

Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's " No 

Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of Beethoven 

Beethoven's Last Moments. 

Funeral Honors to Beethoven, and 

Miserere. Amplius, Libera, for four voices, with an Organ 
accompaniment, performed at the funeral. 

Concert ir aid of Beethoven's Monument, at Drury Lane 
Theatre, July 19, 1837. 

Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library. 

So far the task of explanation is easy ; but I am now 
entering upon more delicate ground, my own qualifica- 
tions for the editorship. If, in stating these, I appear to be 
somewhat prolix, I hope that a little indulgence may be 
conceded to me from my desire to show that my impres- 
sions of reverence for Beethoven's genius are not things of 
yesterday ; but that I began early to follow him in his 
glorious creations, and to study his personal, as well as his 
artistical character, with an enthusiasm which years and 
experience have done nothing to diminish. To satisfy the 
craving which I felt, when a boy nine or ten years old, at 
Prague, for the best musical productions of the time, I sub- 
scribed to a library which afforded me the compositions of 
Dussek, Steibelt, Woelffl, Kozeluch, and Eberl, works of 
no insurmountable difficulty to me ; though, indeed, so far 
from mastering them, I only ran through them, without 
particular attention to finish, enjoying in each its peculiar 
style. I had been placed under the guidance and tuition 
of Dionysius Weber, the founder and present director of 
the Prague Musical Conservatory ; and he, fearing that, in 
my eagerness to read new music, I might injure the sys- 
tematic development of my piano-forte playing, prohibited 
the library ; and, in a plan for my musical education which 
he laid before my parents, made it an express condition, 
that, for three years, I should study no other authors but 
Mozart, dementi, and S. Bach. I must confess, however, 
that, in spite of such prohibitions, I visited the library, 
gaining access to it through my pocket-money. It wai 


about this time that I learnt from some school-fellows that a 
young composer had appeared at Vienna, who wrote the 
oddest stuff possible, such as no one could either play or 
understand; crazy-music, in opposition to all rule; and 
that this composer's name was Beethoven. On repairing 
to the library to satisfy my curiosity as to this so-called 
eccentric genius, I found there Beethoven's " Sonate Pathe*- 
tique." This was in the year 1804. My pocket-money 
would not suffice for the purchase of it, so I secretly copierf 
it. The novelty of its style was so attractive to me, and I 
became so enthusiastic in my admiration of it, that I forgot 
myself so far as to mention my new acquisition to my 
master, who reminded me of his injunction, and warned me 
not to play or study any eccentric productions until I had 
based my style upon more solid models. Without, however, 
minding his injunctions, I seized upon the piano-forte 
works of Beethoven as they successively appeared, and in 
them found a solace and a delight such as no other composer 
afforded me. 

In the year 1809, my studies with my master, Weber, 
closed ; and, being then also fatherless, I chose Vienna for 
my residence to work out my future musical career. Above 
all, I longed to see and become acquainted with that man 
who had exercised so powerful an influence over my whole 
being; whom, though I scarcely understood, I blindly 
worshipped. I learnt that Beethoven was most difficult of 
access, and would admit no pupil but E/ies ; and, for a long 
time, my anxiety to see him remained ungratified. In the 
year 1810, however, the longed-for opportunity presented 
itself. I happened to be one morning in the music-shop of 
Domenico Artaria, who had just been publishing some of 
my early attempts at composition, when a man entered 
with short and hasty steps, and, gliding through the circle 
of ladies and professors assembled on business or talking 
over musical matters, without looking Tip, as though he 
wished to pass unnoticed, made his way direct for Artaria's 
private office at the bottom of the shop. Presently Artaria 
called me in, and said, " This is Beethoven ! " and, to the 
composer, " This is the youth of whom I have just been 
speaking to you." Beethoven gave me a friendly nod, anJ 


said he had just heard a favorable account of me. T 
some modest and humble expressions which I stammered 
forth he made no reply, and seemed to wish to break ofi 
the conversation. I stole away with a greater longing foi 
that which I had sought than I had felt before this meeting, 
thinking to myself, " Am I, then, indeed such a nobody 
that he could not put one musical question to me ? nor 
express one wish to know who had been my master, or 
whether I had any acquaintance with his works ? " My 
only satisfactory mode of explaining the matter, and com- 
forting myself for this omission, was in Beethoven's ten- 
dency to deafness ; for I had seen Artaria speaking close to 
his ear. 

But I made up my mind, that, the more I was excluded 
from the private intercourse which I so earnestly coveted, 
the closer I would follow Beethoven in all the productions of 
his mind. I never missed the Schuppanzigh Quartettes, at 
which he was often present, or the delightful concerts at 
the Augarten, where he conducted his own symphonies. I 
also heard him play several times, which, however, he did 
but rarely, either in public or private. The productions 
which made the most lasting impression upon me, were his 
"Fantasia" with orchestral accompaniments and chorus, and 
his " Concerto in C minor." I also used to meet him at the 
houses of MM. Zmeskall and Zizius, two of his friends, 
through whose musical meetings Beethoven's works first 
made their way to public attention : but, in place of better 
acquaintance with the great man, I had mostly to content 
myself on his part with a distant salute. 

It was in the year 1814, when Artaria undertook to pub- 
lish a piano-forte arrangement of Beethoven's " Fidelio,' 1 
that he asked the composer whether I might be permitted 
to make it. Beethoven assented, upon condition that he 
should see my arrangement of each of the pieces, before it 
was given into the engraver's hands. Nothing could be 
more welcome to me; since I looked upon this as the long- 
wished-for opportunity to approach nearer to the great man, 
and to profit by his remarks and corrections. During my 
frequent visits, the number of which I tried to multiply 
by all possible excuses, he treated me with the kindest 


indulgence. Although his increasing deafness was a con- 
siderable hinderance to our conversation, yet he gave me 
many instructive hints, and even played to me such parts 
as he wished to have arranged in a particular manner for 
the piano-forte. I thought it, however, my duty not to put 
bis kindness to the test by robbing him of his valuable tin.e 
by any subsequent visits ; but I often saw him at Maelzel's, 
where he used to discuss the different plans and models of 
a metronome which the latter was going to manufacture, and 
to talk over the " Battle of Vittoria," which he wrote at 
Maelzel's suggestion. Although I knew Mr. Schindler, and 
was aware that he was much with Beethoven at that time, 
I did not avail myself of my acquaintance with him for the 
purpose of intruding myself upon the composer. I mention 
these circumstances to show how very difficult of access this 
extraordinary man was, and how he avoided all musical dis- 
cussion ; for even with his only pupil, Hies, it was very 
seldom that he would enter into any explanations. In my 
later intercourse with him, he gave me but laconic answers 
on questions of art ; and, on the character of his own works, 
made only such condensed remarks as required all my im- 
agination and fancy to develop what he meant to convey. 
The impatience naturally accompanying his infirmity of 
deafness, no doubt greatly increased his constitutional 
reserve in the latter part of life. 

On subsequent visits to Vienna, after I had established 
myself in London, in the year 1821, Beethoven received me 
with increased cordiality ; and that he counted on me as a 
friend I think is proved, by his intrusting me, during his 
last illness, with an important mission to the Philharmonic 
Society of London, of which mention is made in the follow- 
ing pages. 

My feelings with respect to Beethoven's music have 
undergone no variation, save to become warmer. In the 
first half-score of years of my acquaintance with his works, 
he was repulsive to me as well as attractive. In each of 
them, while I felt my mind fascinated by the prominent 
idea, and my enthusiasm kindled by the flashes of his ge- 
nius, his unlooked-for episodes, shrill dissonances, and bold 
modulation.", gave me an unpleasant sensation. But hovi 


soon did I become reconciled to them! All that had 
appeared hard, I soon found indispensable. The gnome- 
like pleasantries, which at first appeared too distorted, 
the stormy masses of sound, which I found too chaotic, I 
have, in after-times, learned to love. But, while retracing 
my early critical exceptions, I must still maintain as my 
creed, that eccentricities like those of Beethoven are recon- 
cilable with his works alone, and are dangerous models to 
other composers, many of whom have been wrecked in their 
attempts at imitation. Whether the musical world can 
ever recognize the most modern examples of effort to outdo 
Beethoven in boldness and originality of conception, I leave 
to future generations to decide. 

But all that I have ever felt or thought of Beethoven, his 
elevation above all his contemporaries, and his importance 
to art, are so beautifully expressed by the celebrated critic, 
H. G. Nageli, that I shall not forbear to avail myself of a 
passage in one of his lectures ; * although the fear of being 
charged with vanity, from its containing a compliment to 
myself, might have deterred me from so doing. It may be 
necessary to premise, that the critic considers J. S. Bach as 
the fountain-head of instrumental music, and ascribes its 
further and gradual development to C. P. E. Bach, J. 
Haydn, Mozart, dementi, Cramer, Pleyel, until the art 
attained its climax under Beethoven at the beginning of 
the present century. " Beethoven (says Nageli) appeared 
a hero in the art ; and where shall the historian find words 
to depict the regeneration he produced, when the poet him- 
self must here feel at a loss ? Music had received two-fold 
injury in its purity of style, I mean instrumental music, 
unaided by the charms of vocalization, as it had existed at 
the point to which it had been elevated by the Bachs. Mo- 
zart's "Cantabile," as contrasted with the strict school, and 
Pleyel's divertimento style, had diluted and debased it ; and 
to Beethoven, the hero, do we owe its regeneration now and 
forever. Instinctively original, keenly searching for novelty, 
resolutely opposing antiquated forms, and freely exploring 

* Delivered in the year 1824, in Carlsruhe, Darmstadt, Frankfort, Mayenee 
Stuttgart, and Tubingen : they appeared in print in 1826. 


the new world which he had created, net only foi himself, 
but for all his brethren in the art, he may he said to have 
set to all a task, the solution of which is a constant regen- 
eration of design and idea ; thus giving full scope to the 
emanations of the mind. Beethoven's music wears an 
ever-varying aspect, bright in all its changes ; yet could its 
language not at once become familiar to those who had 
lulled their higher powers to rest with the hum of diverti- 
mentos and fantasias, whilst on all sides the worshippers 
of the cantilena were heard to exclaim, ' And is such origi- 
nality beautiful ? and should there not be beauty to render 
originality palatable?' little thinking that Beethoven's 
weapons were of a higher order, and that he conquered, not 
by winning over his hearers to the soft cantilena alone, but 
by speaking in sounds unearthly, thriliing, penetrating, fill- 
ing the soul, and carrying along not individuals, but 
cities, even the whole of Europe. As to the art of piano- 
forte playing, that, too, gained a new aspect under him : 
running passages were set aside ; the toccata style took 
unexpected forms in his hands. He introduced combina- 
tions of distant intervals, original in their very aspect, 
and heightened by peculiarities of rhythm and staccatos, 
absorbing in their sparkling brilliancy the cantabile, to 
which they formed a glaring contrast. Unlike Steibelt, 
Dussek, and some of their contemporaries, in their endeav- 
ors to draw out the tone (filer le son), Beethoven would 
throw it out in detached notes, thus producing the effect of 
a fountain gushing forth, and darting its spray on all sides, 
well contrasting with the melodious episodes which he still 
preserved. But a genius like his soon found the limits of 
piano-forte music too narrow a sphere to move in ; and he 
produced, in turn, works for stringed instruments, and foi 
a whole band. Nevertheless, he never would dive into the 
mysteries of the science of counterpoint : had he done so, 
he would have trodden the path of a J. S. Bach ; and hia 
imaginative vein, as well as his creative genius, might have 
been checked. Let us then bow to him, as the inventor, 
par excellence, of our era. The contemporaries who vied 
with him at the beginning of the new century were, 
Eberl, Haak, Hummel, Liste, Stadler, Tomaschek, Weyse, 


and Wb'lffl ; but he towered above them all, and did not 
cease to pour out endless stores of invention and originality, 
exciting in later years a new body of aspirants to enter the 
lists of inventive composition, and with success. We 
name Feska, Hummel, Onslow, Reicha, Ries, the two 
Rombergs, Spohr, C. M. v. Weber ; and of a yet later date, 
Kuhlau, Tomaschek, and Worzischek: these have been 
joined in the last few years by Carl Czerny and Moscheles. 
Thus do we live in an era fertile in genius, fertile in produc- 
tions, an era regenerated by the master-spirit, Beetho- 
ven ! " 

But I will detain the reader no longer. If, in my preface, 
I have appeared to him tedious, I would beg him to remem- 
ber the words of Pliny the younger, " I have not time tc 
write a short letter, therefore I send you a long one." 


, GBMTU PUA.CE, Begent'i Park, January, 1M1. 




Beethoven's Parentage. Contradiction of a Report on that subject. Hi* 
Musical Education. Tale of a Spider. Appointed Organist to the 
Chapel of the Elector of Cologne. Patronized by Count Von Wald- 
atein. Clever Trick played by him. His first Musical Productions. 
Haydn. Sterkel. Beethoven's Aversion to give Lessons. Touthful 
Friendships. He Is sent to Vienna to Improve himself under Haydn. 
Acquaintances made by him there. Dr. van Swieten. Prince and 
Princess Lichnowsky. Envy excited by his Success. His Indifference 
to Calumny, and to the Accidents of Birth or Wealth. M. Schenk, the 
Corrector of his Compositions. His Early Attachments. His Compo- 
sitions daring this Period. Prices paid for them. The Rasumowsky 
Quartette. Professional Tour. State of Musical Science at Vienna . 

[FROM 1800 TO OCTOBER, 1813.] 

General View of the Second Period of Beethoven's Life. Composition of 
his "Christ on the Mount of Olives "and "Fidelio.'' His Brothers, 
Carl and Johann : their Mischievous Influence. His Severe Illness. 
Remarkable Will addressed to them. His " Sinfonia Eroica," in Honor 
of Napoleon. Count Moritz von Lichnowsky. Opera of ' Fidelio." 
Beethoven's Neglect of Vocal Performers. Their Intrigues and Cabal*. 
His Passion for Julia. Letters to her. Disappointed Love. Count- 
ess Marie Erdody. Beethoven as Director of the Orchestra. Animad- 
versions on Statements of Ferdinand Ries. Beethoven forms a Friend- 
ship with Count Franz von Brunswick and Baron Gleichenstein. Prices 
paid for his Compositions during the Second Period. Misconduct of his 
Brothers. Defence of his Character against the Charge of Cowardice. 
Annuity settled upon him. to keep him in Austria. His Dislike of, and 
Reconciliation with, Hummel. Foreign Visitors. Bettiua Brentano. 
Gothe. Beethoven's Frequent Change of Residence. His Domestic 
Circumstances .............91 



1/auies of Beethoven's Preceding Troubles. Performance of his " Battle of 
Vittoria," for the Benefit of Disabled Soldiers. Dishonest Conduct of 
1C. Maelzel : its Effect on Beethoves . Commencement of the Author's 
Acquaintance with him. Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied 



Sovereigns at Vienna. Pitiful Conduct of Carl M. von Weber Scotch 
Bongs set to Music by Beethoven. Death of his Eldei Brother. He 
undertakes the Guardianship of his Son, whom he adopts. Diminution 
of his Annuity by the Failure of Prince Lobkowitz. He commences 
Housekeeping. Law-suit with his Brother's Widow. Society for the 
Performance of Beethoven's Chamber Music, directed by Carl Czerny. 
Further Diminution of his Pension. His Pupil, the Archduke Rudolph, 
nominated Archbishop of Olmiitz. Beethoven commences a Grand 
Mass for his Installation. Household Troubles. Waltzes ana Baga- 
telles. Straitened Finances. Ignoble Application of Musical MS. 
Performance of "The Ruins of Athens." The " Land-owner" and the 
" Brain-owner." Subscription of Sovereigns to Beethoven's New Mai-s. 

His Letter to Cherubini .......... 57 


Tlr dication of the Court of Austria from the Charge of neglecting Beetho- 
ven. His Political Principles thoroughly Republican. Solicited by 
bis Friends to compose a Mass for the Emperor. The Undertaking 
deferred by Frequent Indisposition, and other Causes. His Quarrel 
with a Publisher at Vienna. Annoyed by Pecuniary Troubles and 
Frequent Indisposition. Leaves Pleasant Quarters on Account of the 
Extreme Politeness of his Landlord. Writes the Thirty-three Varia- 
tions on a Waltz by Diabelli. Undertakes to conduct his Opera of 
"Fidelio." Mortification arising from his Deafness. Submits impa- 
tiently to Medical Treatment. Made an Honorary Member of Several 
Societies. The Year 1823 thronged with Incidents in Beethoven's Life. 
Wretched Lodgings procured by his Brother Johann. Undertakes to 
write a New Opera, but is deterred by the Prospect of coming in Contact 
with German Singers. Begins to compose his Ninth Symphony, and 
completes it in 1824. Letter from the Archduke Rudolph. . . .84 


Oratorio Contemplated by Beethoven. The German and Italian Opera at 
Vienna. Memorial addressed to Beethoven. Results of his Concert 
at the Hof-Theatre. Mademoiselles Sontag and Ungher. Beethoven's 
Distrustful Disposition. Invited to Visit England. Proposition from 
the Philharmonic Society. His Arrangements with a Russian Prince. 

His Residence near Schonbrunn. His Illness. He disposes of some 

of his Works. His Adopted Nephew. Extracts from Beethoven's Let- 
ters to him. Beethoven's Physicians. His Sufferings. He writes to 
Mr. Moscheles. Generosity of the Philharmonic Society. Beethoven's 
Property. His Death. Preparations for the Funeral. Conformation 
of bis Skull ............. S3 


Intended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas. Causes for his re- 
linquishing the Design. Project of an Edition of his Complete Works. 
Visionary Hopes excited by it. Metamorphosis of Beethoven's In- 
strumental Music. Importance of a Right Conception of the Tempo. 
Metronomic Signs. Injury done to Beethoven's Music by Metronomic 
ing. Exemplified in the Moonlight Sonata. Metronomic Directions 
Condemned. Performance of Beethoven's Works in Paris. Hints fur- 
nished by Beethoven relative to the Composition cf his Sonatas, and the 
Proper Style of their Performance. His own Style of Playing. Effects 
intended to be given by him to his Symphonies. Neglect of bis Works. 183 



Beethoven's Religious Principles. His Dislike of giving Lessons. Hi 
Frankness, and, at the same time, Dexterity in evading Questions. 
Vindication of him from the Charge of Discourtesy to Brother Artists. 
Proofs that, though a Rigid, be was a Just Critic. Kind Encourage- 
ment afforded by him to Professional .Njerit. His Modest Appreciation 
of limself. His Extempore Playing. His Every- lajr Occupations 
Propensity for Dabbling in Water. Pensions. Certificates. Beetho- 
ven erroneously Compared with Jean Paul Richter. Mortifying Trick 
played by him at the Instigation of a Friend. Motivo of a Movement in 
one of his Quartettes. His Peculiar Habits in Eating and Drinking. 
Extent of his Knowledges of Language. Comments on Statements of M. 
von Seyfried relative to Beethoven's Domestic Habits. Spurious M8S. 
attributed to him. His Person. Portraits of him 174 


Letters from Beethoven to Kapell-meister Hofmelster and C. F. Peters, Music 

Publishers, relative to the Sale of some of his Compositions . . .191 
Letter on the First Appearance of Beethoven's " Fidelio " . . . .202 

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine von Arnim 203 

Letter of Madame Bettine von Arnim to Gothe 208 

A Visit to Beethoven 216 

Beethoven's Letters to Mile, von Breuning, Wegeler, and Ries . . . 218 
Beethoven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and Ries . . . .231 
Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, 

Vienna 255 

Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's " Notizen " . .259 
Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of Beethoven . . . 271 

Beethoven's Last Moments 275 

Funeral Honors to Beethoven 280 

Miserere, Amplius, Libera, for four Voices, with an Organ Accompaniment . 286 
Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument at Drury-Lane Theatre, July 19, 

1837 314 

Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library 317 


WORKS .385 


Portrait of Beethoven FBOimBiTECE 

Fac-simile of Beethoven's Handwriting. 

first Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. 


the painful illness of full four months, which terminated 
in the death of Ludwig van Beethoven, he was one day conversing 
with Hofrath von Breuning and myself on the subject of Plutarch's 
Lives. Breuning took advantage of the long-wished-for opportu- 
nity to ask Beethoven, apparently without any particular object, 
which of his contemporaries he should prefer for his biographer. 
Without the least hesitation, he replied, " Rochlitz, if he should 
survive me." He went on to say, that it might be anticipated with 
certainty, that, after his decease, many officious pens would hasten 
to amuse the world with stories and anecdotes concerning him, ut- 
terly destitute of truth ; for such is the usual lot of those who have 
had any influence upon their times. It was, therefore, his sincere 
wish, that whatever might hereafter be said concerning him 
" should be in every respect strictly consonant with truth, no mat- 
ter how hard it might bear upon this or the other person, or even 
upon himself." 

This sentiment of Beethoven's, uttered at a moment when his 
dissolution appeared to us to be near at hand, though his physi- 
cians still held out to him some hopes of recovery, while at the 
same time they telt thoroughly convinced of its impossibility, 
this sentiment was too important for us to neglect following it up. 
In so doing, however, we were obliged to proceed with the utmost 
caution ; as, indeed, we were in every thing which, in his state of 
severe suffering, had any reference, however remote, to death : for 
his imagination, more excited than when in health, ranged through 
the universe, formed projects of tours, of prodigious compositions, 
and other enterprises. In short, he had no idea that death was so 
near, neither would he take any warning of its approach. In fact, 
all his desire was to live ; for he still intended to do much that 
none but himself, perhaps, was capable of accomplishing. 

Prudence, therefore, enjoined us to refrain from touching upon 
that point which he himself avoided, and to watch for a suitable 


opportunity when we should find him again disposed to speak far- 
ther upon it. This opportunity occurred but too soon, as his and 
was evidently approaching. Sensible of the rapid decline of his 
physical powers, he now himself declared that all hope of his re- 
covery was vain, and began to look death in the face with stoic 

Plutarch and other favorite Greek authors lay around him ; and 
thus one day, it might be the seventh or eighth before his de- 
cease, he made some observations on Lucius Brutus, whose 
character he highly admired. This was a signal to Breuning and 
myself to resume the conversation which we had dropped with 
respect to bis biographer, and to direct it according to our wishes. 
Resigned already to his fate, Beethoven read with great attention 
a paper on this subject, drawn up by his older friend Breuning ; 
and then very calmly said, " There lies such a paper, there such 
another : take them, and make the best use you can of them ; but 
let the truth be strictly adhered to in every point. For this I hold 
both of you responsible ; and write on the subject to Rochlitz." 
Our object was now accomplished ; for he gave us himself the 
necessary explanations respecting the papers. This memorable 
scene by the sick-bed of our beloved friend terminated in his de- 
siring me to take charge of all the letters that were there, and 
Breuning of all his other papers, among which was the first ver- 
sion of the opera of " Fidelio," in score, an injunction with which 
we punctually complied. 

After Beethoven's death, we resolved jointly to communicate to 
M. Rochlitz the wish of our deceased friend, when M. von Breun- 
ing was taken ill, and, in two months, followed him to the grave. 
This totally unexpected event placed me in a particularly unpleas- 
ant situation with regard to the joint duty undertaken for Beetho- 
ven. M. von Breuning's widow soon afterwards gave up to me the 
papers committed to the care of her deceased husband ; and I was 
now obliged to apply singly on the subject to M. Rochlitz. This 
I did by a letter, dated the 12th of September, 1827. On the 18th 
nf the same month, I received the following answer : 

" I have long been aware how much there was great and noble 
in the character of our respected Beethoven, notwithstanding the 
eccentricity and roughness of his manner ; and though, during my 
visit to Vienna, in 1822, I conversed with him only a few tunes 
with frankness and confidence, this was owing solely to the com- 
plaint with which he was afflicted, and which was so great an 
obstacle to any intercourse with him. This, together with the 
cheerful acknowledgment of his extraordinary genius and profes- 
sional merit, caused me to follow, to the best of my ability, the 
course of his mind and of his whole inward life, in ao far as it is 
exhibited in his works, from his youth to his death. And as I 


availed myself also of every opportunity to gain, from time to time, 
authentic particulars concerning his outward life, I deemed my- 
self, at his death, not wholly incompetent to be his biographer. I 
resolved, therefore, to undertake the office for Beethoven, in the 
same manner that I had done for Karl Maria von Weber, by mak- 
ing their lives principal articles in the third volume of my work, 
' Fiir Freunde der Tonkunst ' (' For Friends of Music '). To this is 
now added a further inducement in your proposal to supply me 
with materials, and the wish of Beethoven himself, conveyed to 
me through you. From all this put together, you may judge 
whether I feel disposed to comply with the wish expressed by you, 
as well as by several other friends of Beethoven's : so much the 
more mortifying is it then to me that it is not in my power to do 
so. A life devoted, in early years, to close and almost unremitting 
application has, of late, been severely revenging itself upon me. 
. . . Hence I ain at length compelled to submit to an almost total 
change of my former pursuits; and the most important part of this 
change is, that I sit and write much less than formerly ; and, that 
I may not be again forced or enticed to break this rule, I decline 
undertaking any work of consequence : and thus I am obliged to 
renounce the fulfilment of your wish as well as my own. ... I 
cannot tell you how it grieves me to give this answer ; but we 
must all bow to necessity. Accept my thanks for your confi- 

Notwithstanding this positive refusal, I ventured to repeat my 
request to M. Rochlitz, at the same time offering to assist him in 
the task ; as, in addition to the materials destined for his use, I 
was in possession of many important facts, collected during an in- 
tercourse of many years with Beethoven, with which no other per- 
son was or could be acquainted, because they had arisen from my 
own connection with the great man. 

I was favored as early as the 3d of October with the answer of 
M. Rochlitz, from which I shall only make the following ex- 
tract : 

" I thank you, in the first place, for the copy you have sent me 
3f Beethoven's will.* I cannot tell you how much I was delighted 
with the cordial, child-like goodness of heart which it so unequivo- 
cally displays, or how deeply I have, been affected by the painful 
sufferings of his excellent soul. Most assuredly this document 
will produce the same effect on all who shall, peruse it, the abso- 
lutely bad alone excepted : indeed, I know not any thing more 
favorable or more convincing that could be said of the deceased, 
in speaking of him, not as an artist, but as a man. I cannot un- 
dertake to comply with your wish, as expressed in a new form; 

* It WM that of 1808. 


and it is of no use to either of us, if I add I am sorry for 

Upon these refusals of M. Rochlitz, adhering to the resolutior 
that I had previously formed, in case that writer should decline 
the commission, not to resign the papers in my hands to any other 
person, I took no further steps, and made up my mind to wait 
ibr suitable time and circumstances. 

If we are to have a complete biography of Beethoven, of the 
man who must be classed among the greatest that ages have pro- 
duced, we want no flights of poetry and imagination on the sub- 
ject of his works or the analysis of them, such as have already 
appeared by thousands, and will continue to appear, some good, 
some bad, according to the respective qualifications and powers of 
the authors, each of whom considered the genius of the great 
composer as his own rainbow, and consequently each in a different 
manner ; but the main point is to show under what circumstances, 
and in what position, Beethoven produced his splendid and imper- 
ishable creations : consequently, to furnish facts, the greatest part 
of which one must have collected on the spot, and, moreover, have 
witnessed by the side of this extraordinary man, in order to be 
able to form a just estimate of their greater or less influence on his 
whole existence. In this position, affording a guarantee for truth 
and authenticity, there stands, as regards Beethoven, not one of 
his surviving friends excepting myself; neither is there any be- 
sides myselfj who, at the time of the most important occurrences 
of his life, was constantly about his person, and assisting him in 
his occupations. This being the case, the most important part of 
the biography must necessarily have been furnished by me, who- 
ever might ultimately have been its author. 

I had a particular motive for not hurrying the publication of 
this work, namely, by withholding my friend's papers for a longer 
period, to soften the severe but just censure passed on many living 
persons who had previously sinned against the great master, and 
to spare them as much as possible, in order, in some degree, to 
mitigate Beethoven's express injunction, " to tell the rigid truth 
about every thing." I say, to spare as much as possible ; for the 
twelve years that have flown over Beethoven's grave have not un- 
done the manifold wrongs, the bitter sorrows, and the deep inju- 
ries, which he had to endure when living, and which brought his 
life and labors to a premature termination. 

The notion which I had conceived twelve years ago, of the 
requisites necessary for a biography of Beethoven, at length be- 
came a settled conviction of my mind, amidst the various opinions 
concerning him, confusedly flung together by his numberless ad- 
mirers. I was satisfied that it was the only correct view. On the 
other hand, in the }>ossession of such copious materials (of only a 


small portion of which, however, I have availed myself), urged, 
moreover, by his admirers in nearly every country in Europe not 
any longer to postpone the publication of this biography, I was 
induced to venture, with my own humble, unaided abilities, on the 
important enterprise. Without, therefore, stopping to examine all 
that has been said concerning Beethoven, and to correct inaccura- 
cies which would in the end have proved to be labor in vain, I 
adhere, on this point, to my preconceived notions, and shall en- 
deavor to lay before the public in this work a series of unembel- 
lished facts, as the case requires, which shall enable the admirers 
of the illustrious deceased to comprehend and appreciate this lofty 
model of greatness of soul and of creative genius in all its truth 
and reality. In the execution of this design, I follow a division 
not arising out of the history of the development of his genius, 
but purely from the various phases of his life, such as Beethoven 
himself would have adopted : that is to say, I divide his life and 
works into three periods ; the first extending from his birth to the 
year 1800, the second from 1800 to October, 1813, and the third 
from the last-mentioned date to his death, in 1827.* It shall ac- 
cordingly be facts that I shall chiefly endeavor to record, as nearly 
as possible in chronological order, and with the closest adherence 
to truth ; and, among the statements advanced by others, it is only 
such as bear materially upon his character, or his way of thinking 
and acting, that I shall either rectify, or, if need be, contradict. 

As the third period will claim the largest portion of this work, 
it obliges me, in order not to be too voluminous, to treat more 
briefly of the first two periods ; and this I can do without detriment 
to the important subject, since Dr. Wegeler and M. Ferdinand 
Hies, in their biographical sketches of Beethoven, published two 
years ago, have given so many characteristic traits of him. Weg- 
eler, the respected friend of Beethoven from his youthful days, 
there records all that is requisite to be told concerning his birth 
and abode in Bonn : so that I think it quite sufficient to confine 
myself in places to communications made by him to me so far back 
as 1828, with reference to that period, because the thread of the 
narrative requires it ; and that gentleman may infer, from the rea- 
sons already assigned, why I could not earlier comply with his 
repeated solicitations to accelerate the publication of this work. 
Unpleasant as was the notice, dated the 28th of October, 1834, 
which he gave me, that, on account of my long-protracted delay, 
he was determined to put his sketches to press, still I was obliged 

* It must be obvious, that, in this division, I do not mean to assert that Beet- 
hoven's mental development admits of the like limitation, or Is tacitly compre- 
hended under it. To pretend to fix precise limits to that would be a bold 
attempt, inasmuch as his works were not published In the order in which they 
were composed. I shall recur to this subject In treating of the first period. 


to let him act as he pleased. His sketches of the first years of 

Beethoven's life may be referred to as an authentic source ; for the 
greater part of the particulars which they contain I have heard 
from the lips of the master himself. 

As to the publication of Ferdinand Ries, I am sorry to be obliged 
to declare that Ries has in this performance said too much. Less 
would have been much more to the purpose. He seems almost to 
justify the remark of a friend and admirer of Beethoven's, who, 
soon after the appearance of that pamphlet, wrote to me as follows : 
" From the tone assumed by Ries, one would imagine that Beetho- 
ven had lived exclusively for him ; and, in writing those sketches 
and anecdotes, he seems to have kept his eye much more upon his 
own dear self than upon his friend and master." 

Had Ries not recommended his performance in an unqualified 
manner, as an authentic source for a complete biography of Bee- 
thoven (which he does in his preface), and thus set himself up for 
an authority to be relied on by the future biographer of Beetho- 
ven, as well as by the public in general (though he had bad no 
personal intercourse with him for full thirty- two years), I should 
not have made a single remark on him or his work, attaching no 
more importance to the latter than belongs to anecdotes in gen- 
eral : for aphorisms, notices, and anecdotes constitute no logical, 
connected whole ; consequently they establish no opinion, though 
they assist to form one. The remarks, then, which, in my position, 
I think it my duty to make on the publication of Ries, in so far as 
it pretends to delineate the character of Beethoven, I submit, on 
ray part, with all respect for the deceased, who was too early taken 
from us ; for I, too, regarded him as my valued friend. He meant 
not designedly to tarnish the memory of one of the noblest charac- 
ters ; but yet he has done so. The motive of this mal-h-propos may 
possibly have originated as follows : 

At the time when Ries was a pupil of Beethoven's, he was quite 
as young as his judgment : he was, therefore, incapable of grasp- 
ing, of comprehending, consequently also of judging, the immense 
sphere, which, even at that time, was beginning to open upon the 
genius and upon the whole existence of his instructor. Hence it 
was only superficial matters, words dropped in vexation or in play- 
fulness, in short, anecdotes, sometimes of greater, sometimes of 
less consequence, which struck him, and impressed themselves 
on his memory, but which could by no means justify him in rep- 
resenting Beethoven's character as being so rude as he does in 
pages 81,* 83, 84, and 92 of his sketches, to say nothing of other 

* At page 81 of his biographical particulars. Ries, In his account of the meet- 
Ing of Beethoven and Steibelt, at the house of Count Fries, where Btelbelt per- 
formed a " studied fantasia brlllante on a theme from a trio of Beethoven's," 
tella us, "This gave great offence to the admirers of Beethoven, as well as to 


passages. If the statements made there only by Ries are abso- 
lutely true, what a rude character was Beethoven I How icpul- 
sive and inaccessible to juvenile talent ! 

In my conversations with Ries concerning Beethoven, at Frank- 
fort, in the year 1833, 1 perceived all this but too plainly, and took 
the opportunity to set him right on many points. His memory 
had only retained a correct impression of the boisterous, heaven- 
assaulting giant, the recesses of whose mind the scholar, who had 
scarcely arrived at. adolescence, was as yet incapable of exploring. 
He saw only the shell before him ; but he had not discovered the 
right way to get at the inestimable kernel. Ten years later, and 
the man would probably have found it out. His short stay at Vi- 
enna in 1809, during the French occupation, was any thing but 
calculated to furnish a better and more suitable basis for his opin- 
ions concerning Beethoven, or even to erase from his mind many 
an erroneous impression which it had received. With such indis- 
tinct notions, Ries parted from his preceptor at a time when, a 
mere student of the art, he could scarcely go alone, as indeed it 
was but natural to expect at the age of scarcely twenty years. 
Certain it is, that the Beethoven of 1805, when Ries left Vienna, 
was totally different from him of 1825 ; and I could sincerely wish 
that Ries, whose abilities I respect, had once more seen Beetho- 
ven, deeply bowed down by the severe vicissitudes which he had 
undergone, like a burnt-out volcano, which is only at times in com- 
motion ; that he could have heard him, and learned from his own 
lips what was the most particular desire of our mutual friend. 

that composer himself. He was next called to the piano to extemporize : be 
went in his usual, I might say, rude way, to the instrument, as though half 
pushed towards it." But, hold ! who could help being revolted also on read- 
Ing t.his instance of Beethoven's rudeness from the pen of his pupil and friend, 
and reasoning thus : 

Rudeness is the highest degree of ill-breeding. If he, from his thirtieth to 
his thirty-fifth year " usually behaved rudely " even in the higher circles, as 
we are told iu the anecdote related by Ries, page 92, he was, and must have 
been, rude all his life, even though he had intercourse with an archduke of 
Austria. At that period of life Beethoven had arrived when Ries was In Vi- 
enna. What, then, could be alleged in excuse of Beethoven, if Ries were right ? 
But how many of those friends and admirers of the illustrious deceased, who 
knew him longer, and had opportunities of forming a more correct opinion of 
him than Ries. will solemnly protest against such a charge. Is it fair to pub- 
lish to the world a momentary fit of ill-humor in any man, be he who he may, 
that it may serve as an authentic source for estimating his character ? and espe- 
cially in a man who belongs to remote posterity, who deserves to be recom- 
mended in so many respects to younger artists as a model worthy of Imitation ? 
Or, let me ask, is it right to drag before the tribunal of the public what has been 
said and done in unguarded moments among friends and acquaintance? That 
maxim is in general entirely false which says, that " about great men any thing 
and everything maybe told: it can do them no harm." Without taking into 
account that this maxim is in itself very relative, the character of every man. 
without any reference to his mental qualities, is the point, which, iu a portraiture 
of him, should be treated with most tenderness, at the same time without dero- 
gating in the iligbteat degree from the truth. 


To conclude, 1 eu treat all the friends and admirers of Beethoven 
to accept the assurance, that, in my account of my instructor and 
friend, my pen shall be guided by nothing but pure love for him, 
and pure and unfeigned love for truth. Too deeply penetrated 
with the high importance of the subject to be treated of, I shall 
adhere steadfastly to the determination to exert my best ability, 
and to keep aloof from prejudice of every kind. 

Thus, then, I submit this work to the public, hoping that it may 
not merely furnish a biography of the great composer, but also a 
contribution to the history of his art. Conscious that I have 
spared no pains to fulfil this two-fold object, I trust that it will be 
acknowledged that I have written in the feeling of justice and of 
truth, notwithstanding the many rugged and dangerous rock* 
which I have had to encounter in the undertaking. 




Boethoven's Parentage. Contradiction of a Report on that Subject. His If o- 
ical Education. Tale of a Spider. Appointed Organist to the Chapel of 
the Elector of Cologne. Patronized by Count von Waldstein . Clever Tr'cfc 
played by htm. His first Musical Productions. Haydn. SterkeJ. Beet- 
hoven's Aversion to give Lessons. Youthful Friendships. He is sent to 
Vienna to Improve himself under Haydn. Acquaintances made by him 
there. Dr. Van Swieten. Prince and Princess Lichnowsky. Envy ex 
cited by his Success. His Indifference to Calumny, and to the Accidents 
of Birth or Wealth. M. Schenk, the Corrector of his Compositions. His 
Early Attachments. His Compositions during this Period. Prices paid 
for them. The Rasumowsky Quartette. Professional Tour. State of Mu- 
sical Science at Vienna. 

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN was born on the 17th of De- 
cember, 1770, at Bonn. His father, Johann van Beethoven, 
was tenor singer in the electoral chapel, and died in 1792. 
His mother, Maria Magdalena, whose maiden name was 
Keverich, was a native of Coblentz : she died in 1787. His 
grandfather, Ludwig van Beethoven, who is conjectured on 
very good grounds to have been a native of Maestricht, was 
music-director and bass-singer, and performed operas of his 
own composition, at Bonn, in the time of the Elector Clem- 
ens August, whose fondness for magnificence is well known. 
Of this grandfather, who died in 1773, Beethoven retained 
a lively recollection even in his later years ; and he fre- 
quently spoke with filial affection and fervent gratitude of 
his mother, " who had so much patience with his obsti- 


.The report that Beethoven was a natural son of Frederick 
William II., King of Prussia, first broached by Fayolle and 
Choron, which was reported in seven editions of the " Conver- 
sations-Lexicon," published by Brockhaus, and caused great 
vexation to Beethoven, was conclusively confuted by Dr. 
Wegeler, after Beethoven had requested him, in a letter 
written by me from his dictation, and dated the 7th of Oc- 
tober, 1826,* " to make known to the world the unblemished 
character of his parents, and especially of his mother." f 

Beethoven's education was neither particularly neglected 
nor particularly good. He received elementary instruction, 
and learned something of Latin, at a public school : music he 
learnt at home, and was closely kept to it by his father, whose 
way of life, however, was not the most regular. The lively 
and often stubborn boy had a great dislike to sitting still, 
so that it was continually necessary to drive him in good 
earnest to the piano-forte. He had still less inclination for 
learning the violin ; and on this point I cannot help advert- 
ing to a tale, so ingeniously invented and so frequently re- 
peated, relative to a spider, which, "whenever little Ludwig 
was playing in his closet on the violin, would let itself down 
from the ceiling and alight upon the instrument, and which 
his mother, on discovering her son's companion, one day 
destroyed; whereupon little Ludwig dashed his violin to 
shatters." This is nothing more than a tale. Great 
Ludwig, highly as this fiction amused him, never would 
admit that he had the least recollection of such a circum- 
stance. On the contrary, he declared that it was much 
more likely that every thing, even to the very flies and 

* Dr. Wegeler published in consequence a copy of Beethoven's baptismal 
register, which is as follows : 

" Extract, Church Register, St. Remigii, at Bonn : 

" Anno millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo, die decima septimaDecem- 
bria, baptizatus est Ludovicus, Domini Jobannis van Beethoven et Helena 
Keverichs, conjugum, filius legitimu.s : Patrini : Dominus Ludovicus van Beet- 
hoven, et Gertrudis Miillers, dicta Baums. 

" Witness to the truth of the above extract, " THE BURGOMASTER. 

(Signed) " WIN DECK. 

' BONN, 28TH JUNE, 1827." 

t When M. brockhaus announced the eighth edition of the " Conversatl jn- 
Lexicon," I wrote to him, on the 17th of February, 1833, calling his attention to 
that fable, and lequestlng him to omit the passage relative to Beethoven'* par- 
entage in the new edition, which he complied with. 


spiders, should have fled out of the hearing of his horrid 

He made his first acquaintance with German literature, 
and especially the poets, in the house of M. von Breuning, 
in Bonn, whose family contributed greatly, in every respect, 
to the cultivation of his mind, and to whom Beethoven, till 
the last moment of his life, acknowledged his obligations 
with the warmest gratitude. 

Beethoven received his first lessons from his father; but 
he had afterwards a far better instructor in a M. Pfeiffer, a 
man of talent, well known as music-diiector arid oboist. 
Beethoven owed more to this composer than to any ether : 
and he was grateful for his services ; for he remitted money 
from Vienna to him, when in need of assistance, through 
M. Simrock of Bonn. That Van der Eder, organist to the 
court, really taught our Beethoven the management of the 
organ, as Dr. Wegeler merely conjectured, is a fact, as Beet- 
hoven himself related with many concomitant anecdotes. 
By the instructions of Neefe, the court-organist, Beethoven 
declared that he had profited little or nothing. 

In the year 1785, Beethoven was appointed, by the Elect- 
or Max Franz, brother of the Emperor Joseph II., organist 
to the electoral chapel, a post obtained for him by Count 
von Waldstein, a patron of the arts, not only a connoisseur 
in music, but himself a practical musician, a knight of the 
Teutonic order, and favorite of the elector.* To this noble- 
mun, Beethoven was indebted for the first appreciation of 
his talents, and his subsequent mission to Vienna. A cir- 
cumstance which affords evidence of his extraordinary talent 
may be introduced here, since at a later period it appeared 
to Beethoven himself to be worth recording, and he often 
mentioned it with pleasure as a clever juvenile trick. 

On the last three days of the Passion week, the Lamenta- 
tions of the prophet Jeremiah were always chanted : these 
consisted of passages of from four to six lines, and they were 
sung in no particular time. In the middLe of each sentence, 
agreeably to the choral style peculiar to the old church- 
music in general, a rest was made upon one note, which 

* The same Count on Waldstein to whom Beetboven 4fdictd hii 
*>nU, Op. 6*. 


feat the player on the piano for the organ was not used 
on those three days had to fill up with a voluntary flour- 
ish, as is likewise usual in the accompaniment of other -^o- 
ral performances. 

Beethoven told Heller, a singer at the chapel, who was 
toasting of his professional cleverness, that he would en- 
gage that very day to put him out at such a place, without 
his heing aware of it, yet so effectually that he should not 
be able to proceed. Heller, who considered this as an ab- 
solute impossibility, laid a wager accordingly with Beetho- 
ven. The latter, when he came to a passage that suited his 
purpose, led the singer, by an adroit modulation, out of the 
prevailing mode into one having no affinity to it, still, how- 
ever, adhering to the tonic of the former key ; so that the 
singer, unable to find his way in this strange region, was 
brought to a dead stand. Exasperated by the laughter of 
those around him, Heller complained of Beethoven to the 
elector, who, to use Beethoven's expression, "gave him a 
most gracious reprimand, and bade him not play any more 
such clever tricks." 

When Haydn first returned from England, the electoral 
band gave him a breakfast-at Godesberg, near Bonn. On 
this occasion, Beethoven laid before him a cantata, which 
gained him the commendation of the celebrated master, 
who exhorted the youthful composer to persevere in his pro- 
fessional studies. On account of several difficult passages 
for the wind instruments, which the performers declared 
themselves unable to play, this cantata was laid aside, and 
not published. Such is the statement of Dr. Wegeler. 
Though I have not the least doubt of Dr. Wegeler's accu- 
racy, I never heard Beethoven himself say a word concern- 
ing any such first production ; but well I recollect having 
been told by him that his best essay at composition at that 
period was a trio for the pianoforte, violin, and violoncello. 
This trio was not published until after his death, about ten 
or eleven years ago, by Dunst of Frankfort: its second 
movement, the scherzo, may be regarded as the embryo 
af all Beethoven's scherzos. The third movement of that 
crio belongs in idea and form to Mozart, a proof how early 
Beethoven began to make him his idol. He seemed, in 
fact;, to have totally forgotten the cantata iu question. 


Beethoven's first compositions w*~e the soiattis copied 
into "The Blumenlese" of Speyer; m the next place, the 
song, " Wenn Jemand eine Reise thut " (" When a roan on 
travel goes v ), and, further, the music to a ballet performed 
during the carnival by the high nobility, the piano-forte 
part of which is said to be in the possession of M. Dunst 
of Frankfort. This music, which was reputed to be the 
work of Count von Waldstein, was not at first published. 
Then came the Variations on "Vieni amore," theme by 
Righini, which afforded the youthful author occasion to dis- 
play his extraordinary talent. This was at his interview at 
Aschaffenburg with Sterkel, a celebrated performer of that 
day, and indeed the most accomplished piano-forte player 
whom Beethoven had ever yet heard. The doubt expressed 
by this highly-finished and elegant performer, whether the 
composer of these Variations could play them fluently him- 
self, spurred on Beethoven not only to play by heart such 
as were printed, but to follow them up with a number of 
others extemporized on the spot ; and, at the same time, he 
imitated the light aud pleasing touch of Sterkel, whom he 
had never heard till then ; whereas his own usual way of 
playing the piano was hard and heavy, owing, as Beethoven 
declared, not to his want of feeling, but to his practising a 
great deal upon the organ, of which instrument he was very 

Beethoven had, from his youth, as Dr. Wegeler relates, 
and as he himself often showed by the fact, a decided 
aversion to give lessons ; and in his later years, as well as 
formerly at Bonn, he always went to this occupation "like 
an ill-tempered donkey." * We shall see in the third period 
of his biography how he conducted himself when giving 
instruction to his most illustrious pupil, the Archduke Ru- 
dolph, f who entertained the deepest respect for his master, 
and with whom Beethoven had no need to lay himself un- 
der more restraint than if he had been in the house of a 
friend, t 

* Or, aa Wegeler gives It, like the " iuiquae mentis asellus " of Horace. ED. 

t See my note. p. 228. ED. 

t M. Hies was treated in the aaine manner, as he told me, while under Beet- 
hoven's tuition. " I played," said Ries to me, " while Beethoven composed ol 
did something else; and it was very rarely that he seated himself bj me and M 
remained for half an hour." Ries tells a different story in his puolicutiou 


With this brief account, the period which Beetho> 
passjd in his birthplace, Bonn, might aptly close. He hiu 
self considered that time as the happiest portion of his life, 
though it was frequently imbittered by disagreeable circum- 
stances, originating chiefly in his father's irregular course 
of life. The members of the Breuning family were his 
guardian angels; for the numerous friendships which his 
superior talents gained him began already to be detrimen- 
tal to his higher cultivation. This is too often the case 
with youthful genius, which disdains moderate praise, and 
accepts flattery as a tribute justly due to it ; and of course 
such a person seeks in preference the society of those from 
whom he hopes to obtain that gratification. 

Under such circumstances, most fortunate was it for Beet- 
hoven that he received permission from the Elector Max 
Franz, to reside for a few years at Vienna, for the purpose 
of improving himself under the tuition of Haydn. In the 
year 1792, Beethoven went to Vienna, the central point of 
every thing great and sublime that music had till then 
achieved on the soil of Germany. Mozart, the source of all 
light in the region of harmony, whose personal acquaint- 
ance Beethoven had made on his first visit to Vienna, in 
the winter of 1786-7, who, when he heard Beethoven ex- 
tempori/e upon a theme that was given him, exclaimed to 
those present, " This youth will some day make a noise in 
the world," Mozart, though he had been a year in Tiis 
grave, yet lived freshly in the memory of all who had a 
heart susceptible of his divine revelations, as well as in 
Beethoven's ; Gluck's spirit still hovered around the inhab- 
itants of old Vindobona; Father Haydn, and manj other 
distinguished men in every art, and in every branch of hu- 
man knowledge, yet lived and worked together harmoni- 
ously : in short, no sooner had Beethoven, then but twenty- 
two, looked around him in this favored abode of the Muses, 
and made a few acquaintances, than he said to himself, 
" Here will I stay, and not return to Bonn, even though the 
elector should cut off my pension." 

One of his first, and, for a long time, most influential 
acquaintances, was the celebrated Van Swieten, formerly 
physician in ordinary to the Empress Maria Theresa, a maa 


who could appreciate art and artists according to their real 
worth. Van Swieten was, as it were, the cicerone of the 
new-comer, and attached young Beethoven to his person 
and to his house, where, indeed, the latter soon found him- 
self at home. The musical treats in Van Swieten's house 
consisted chiefly of compositions by Handel, Sebastian 
Bach, and the greatest masters of Italy, up to Palestrina, 
performed with a full band ; and they were so truly exqui- 
site as to be long remembered by all who had been .so fortu- 
nate as to partake of them. For Beethoven those meetings 
had this peculiar interest, that he not only gained an inti- 
mate acquaintance with those classics, but also that he was 
obliged to stay longest, because the old gentleman had an 
insatiable appetite for music, so that the night was often 
pretty far advanced before he would suffer him to depart ; 
nay, frequently lie would not suffer him to go at all ; for, 
to all that he had heard before, Beethoven was obliged to 
add half a dozen fugues by Bach, "by way of a blessing." 
Among the notes addressed by that eminent physician to 
Beethoven, and carefully preserved by the latter, one runs 
thus : " If you are not prevented next Wednesday, I should 
be glad to see you here at half-past eight in the evening, 
with your night-cap in your pocket." 

Nearly at the same time with Van Swieten, our Beetho- 
ven made the acquaintance of the princely family of Lich- 
nowsky ; and this point in his life is of such importance, and 
led to such manifold consequences, that it behooves me to 
dwell upon it at some length. 

The members of this remarkable family belonged alto- 
gether to those rarer natures which are susceptible to every 
thing that is great and sublime, and therefore patronized 
and honored art and science, as well as all that is chival- 
rous, to which the greater part of the nobility devote their 
exclusive attention. Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, Mozart's 
pupil, was a genuine nobleman, and, what is still more, a 
Mecaenas in the strictest sense of the term ; and at that 
time, when the Austrian nobility were universally noble- 
minded, there could have been found few to match him in 
ihat extensive empire. Of like disposition was his consort, 
the Princess Christiane, by birth Countess of Thun. In 


this resort of accomplished minds and polished manners, 
Beethoven found an asylum in which he continued for sev- 
eral years. Prince Lichnowsky became a paternal friend, 
the princess a second mother, to the young musician. The 
prince assigned to him a yearly allowance of six hundred flor- 
ins, which he was to receive till he should obtain some per- 
manent appointment; and at that time this was no insignifi- 
cant sum. The kindness of both these princely personages 
pursued him, as it were, and did not abate even when the 
adopted son, who was frequently obstinate, would have cer- 
tainly lost that of any other patrons, and when he had de- 
served the severest reprehension. It was the princess, in 
particular, who found all that the often ill-tempered and 
sullen young man chose to do or to let alone, right, clever, 
original, amiable ; and who, accordingly, contrived to make 
excuses for all his peccadilloes to the more rigid prince. At 
a later period, Beethoven, in describing this mode of treat- 
ment, employed the following characteristic expression: 
'.'They would have brought me up there," said he, "with 
grandmotherly fondness, which was carried to such a length 
that very often the princess was on the point of having a 
glass shade made to put over me, so that no unworthy per- 
son might touch or breathe upon me." * 

Such extreme indulgence could not fail to produce its 
effects upon a temperament like Beethoven's ; and it could 
not but operate detrimentally to the steady and undisturbed 
cultivation of his talent, which excited the attention and 
admiration of thousands. Whence was the necessary firm- 
ness to come in the conflicts with external life ? Of course, 
then, the impetuous son of the Muse was every moment 
running his head against the wall, and was doomed to feel, 
as he would not hear. Van Swieten's counsels and admoni- 
tions, too, were frequently disregarded ; and old " Papa " 
was content if the intractable Beethoven would but come to 
his evening parties. 

If we find, in consequence, that Beethoven's manners 
were sometimes deficient in polish, the reason lies, in the 

* How happens it that Beethoven, sensible of the impropriety of this system 
<>f education, should not have avoided it in bringing up nis nephew ? We ih*U 
ba/e occasion to lecui to thi (abject lt> the proper place. 


first placer, in his energetic nature, which broke through all 
barriers, and, spurning the etiquette of high life, would not 
submit to any shackles. Another not lea* powerful cause 
is to be sought in the indulgence, and even in the admira- 
tion, which his eccentricities met with from high and low , 
for there was a time when the name " Beethoven " had be- 
come a general pass-word to which every thing gave way. 

That, in opposition to his admirers, there should be some, 
who, eclipsed by the extraordinary success of the youthful 
master, felt themselves thrust into the background and 
mortified, was no more than might have been expected. 
Envy and jealousy brandished their weapons against the 
unaffected young artist pushing on in his career, whose in- 
ternal as well as external originality afforded more than one 
assailable point. It was more especially the external, of 
such a nature as had never been observed in any artist, that 
envy and jealousy would not by any means acknowledge to 
be the natural consequence of his internal organization. In 
direct opposition to every exaggerated formality, and avoid- 
ing the broad, beaten track of mediocrity and every-day 
talent, while pursuing his own course, Beethoven could not 
but be misconceived by many whose view was not capable 
of embracing his horizon. He was also misjudged, as so 
many a true master-mind has been in its intercourse with 
the various classes, because its peculiar notions of things, 
originating in the nature of art, never tally with those of 
the multitude, which cannot assimilate with those of the 
artist. This peculiar mode of viewing things shows itself, 
Bometimes more, at other times less, in every one of his 

At this early period, a trait of character that distin- 
guished him throughout his whole life manifested itself in 
young Beethoven. It was this, that he never defended 
himself against criticisms or attacks so long as they were 
not directed against his honor, but against his professional 
abilities ; and never suffered them to have more than a su- 
perficial effect upon him. Not indifferent to the opinions 
of the good, he took no notice of the attacks of the mali- 
cious, and allowed them to go on unchecked, even wheu 
they proceeded so far as to assign him a place, sometimuf 


>n one mad-house, sometimes in another. "If it amuses 
people to say or to write such stuff concerning me, let them 
continue so to do as long as they please : " this was his 
maxim, to which he adhered through all the vicissitudes of 
his professional life. 

With this trait of character was associated already in 
early youth another, not less important for his professional 
career than the former, namely, that rank and wealth were 
to him matters of absolute indifference, accidents for 
which he had no particular respect : hence, in a man he 
would recognize and honor nothing but the man. To bow 
to Mammon and its possessors was nothing less, in his opin- 
ion, than downright blasphemy, the deepest degradation 
of the man endowed with genius ; and, before he could pay 
the wealthy the ordinary respect, it was requisite that they 
should at least be known to him as humane and benevolent. 
On this point more particularly Beethoven was orthodox ; 
and no temptation whatever could have produced a change 
of sentiment on that head any more than in his political 
creed. It was, therefore, perfectly natural that the prince 
should occupy no higher place in his estimation than the 
private citizen ; and he held that mind alone, that divine 
emanation in man, rises, according to its powers, above all 
that is material and accidental : that it is an immediate gilt 
of the Creator, destined to serve as a light to others. Hence 
it follows that Beethoven recognized the position allotted to 
him from above, and its importance in the universe, and 
that, too, in all humility, as may be clearly seen in the let- 
ters addressed to a lady of whom he was passionately enam- 
ored, which will be given hereafter. 

In the first number of the Leipzig " Musikalische Zei- 
tung" of 1835, 1 took occasion, from an expression attributed 
to Beethoven in a Vienna journal * respecting the age at 
which a person ought to learn the theory of harmony and 

" In order to become a good composer, a person should have studied the 
theory of harmony and the art of counterpoint from the age of seven to eleven , 
that when the imagination and feeling awake, he may have accustomed himself 
to invent according to rule." How absurd and untrue this assertion is, in every 
respect. I there showed in the proper place; and, likewise, that Beethoven 
thought precisely the reverse, especially on instruction in counterpoint, and tl>* 
be expressed himself clearly and explicitly on that subject. 


counterpoint, to say, that Beethoven, on his arrival at Vi- 
enna, knew nothing of counterpoint, and very little of the 
theory of harmony. His imagination warm and active, his 
ear sensitive, and Pegasus ever ready, he composed away, 
without concerning himself about the indispensable scholas- 
tic rules. Such was the state of things, when he began tc 
receive instructions from Haydn ; and Haydn is said to have 
been always satisfied with his new scholar, because he per- 
mitted him to do as he liked : till the tables were turned, 
and the scholar became dissatisfied with the master, owing 
to the following circumstance : 

Among the professional men whom Beethoven knew and 
respected, was M. Schenk, composer of the music to the, 
" Dorf barbier," a man of mild, amiable disposition, and pro- 
foundly versed in musical science. M. Schenk one day met i 
Beethoven, when he was coming with his roll of music 
under his arm from Haydn. Schenk threw his eye over 
it, and perceived here and there various inaccuracies. He. 
pointed them out to Beethoven, who assured him that 
Haydn had just corrected that piece. Schenk turned over 
the leaves, and found the grossest blunders left untouched 
in the preceding pieces. Beethoven now conceived a 
suspicion of Haydn, and would have given up taking 
instructions from him, but was dissuaded from that reso- 
lution, till Haydn's second visit to England afforded a fitting 
occasion for carrying it into effect. From this moment a 
coolness took place between Haydn and Beethoven. Kies 
heard Beethoven say that he had indeed taken lessons 
of Haydn, but never learned any thing of him. (See his 
" Notizen," p. 86.)* The conduct of Haydn in this case 
was variously construed, as he was known to be in other 
respects a conscientious man ; but no certain motive can be 
alleged for it. M. Schenk continued to be from that time 
the confidential corrector of Beethoven's compositions, even 
after Allbrechtsberger had undertaken to give him instruc- 
tions in counterpoint. Here I must record a remarkable 
fact which serves to characterize both these old friends. 

Owing to Beethoven's unsettled life, it was too frequently 

* See Supplement, No. X. 


the case, that for years he kuew nothing about intimate 
friends and acquaintance, though they, like himself, resided 
within the walls of the great capital ; and, if they did not 
occasionally give him a call, to him they were as good as 
dead. Thus it happened, that one day it was in the 
beginning of the spring of 1824 I was walking with 
him over the Graben, when we met M. Schenk, then far 
advanced between sixty and seventy. Beethoven, trans- 
ported with joy to see his old friend still among the living, 
seized his hand, hastened with him into a neighboring 
tavern, called the Bugle Horn, and conducted us into a 
back room, where, as in a catacomb, it was necessary to 
burn a light even at noonday. There we shut ourselves 
in, and Beethoven began to open all the recesses of his 
heart to his respected corrector. More talkative than he* 
often was, a multitude of stories and anecdotes of long by- 
gone times presented themselves to his recollection, and 
among the rest the affair with Haydn ; and Beethoven, 
who had now raised himself to the sovereignty in the realm 
of music, loaded the modest composer of the " Dorf barbier," 
who was living in narrow circumstances, with professions 
of his warmest thanks for the kindness which he had for- 
merly shown him. Their parting, after that memorable 
hour, as if for life, was deeply affecting ; and, in fact, from 
that day, they never beheld one another again. 

As, in that classic period of musical activity, Beethoven 
was the sun which all strove to approach, and rejoiced if 
they could but catch a glance of his brilliant eye, it was 
natural that he should converse much with ladies, several 
of whom were always contending for his affections at once, 
as it is well known ; and he more than once found himself, 
like Hercules, in a dilemma. Dr. Wegeler says in his pub- 
lication (page 42), that " Beethoven was never without an 
attachment, and that mostly he was very deeply smitten." 
This is quite true. How could any rational person, who is 
acquainted with Beethoven solely from his works, maintain 
the contrary ? * Whoever is capable of feeling how power- 

.Ind yet M. Ignatz yon Seyfried, In the biographical particulars of Beet 
boven appended to the work published by him and M. Hasllnger, with the title 
f -'Beethoven Btudien," doea maintain the contrary, which Dr. Wegeler ba* 
ihowi to be wholly unfounded. 


fully the pure flame of love operates upon the imagination, 
more especially of the sensitive and highly-endowed artist, 
and how in all his productions it goes before him like a 
light sent down from heaven to guide him, will take it for 
granted, without any evidence, that Beethoven was suscep- 
tible of the purest love, and that he was conducted by it. 
What genius could have composed the Fantasia in C * with- 
out such a passion ! f And here be it observed, merely by 
the way, it was love for the Giulietta to whom that imagin- 
ative composition is dedicated, which inspired him while 
engaged upon it. Beethoven seems to have retained his 
affection for that lady as long as he lived. Of this I think 
I can produce striking evidence, but it belongs to the second 

Wegeler's remark (p. 44) is perfectly true, that the ob- 
jects of Beethoven's attachment were always of the higher 
rank. No prejudice on the part of Beethoven had any thing 
to do with this, which arose solely from the circumstance 
of his having at that time most intercourse with persons in 
high life, an intercourse promoted, moreover, by his con- 
nection with the princely house of Lichnowsky. Beethoven 
frequently declared that at this time he was best appreci- 
ated, and best comprehended as an artist, by noble and 
other high personages. High, however, as the converse 
with such personages was calculated to raise him intellectu- 
ally, still, in regard to love, and a permanent happiness 
arising out of it, that circumstance was not advantageous 
to him. I shall take occasion to treat, by and by, more 
explicitly of this interesting topic, and shall merely observe 
here, that, though exposed to such manifold seductions, 
Beethoven had, like the demi-god of old, the firmness to 
preserve his virtue unscathed; that his refined sense of 
right and wrong could not endure any thing impure, and 
in a moral respect equivocal, about it ; and that, considered 
on this score, he passed through life, conscious of no fault, 
with truly virgin modesty and unblemished character. The 

* Op. 27, No. 2. 

t This Sonata, quasi Fantasia, Op. 27, is known in Austria by the inappro- 
priate appellation of " Moonshine Sonata," which is meant to designate nothing 
nore than that enthusiast!; period of Beethoven's passion. 


higher Muse, who had selected him for each important 
service, gave his views an upward direction, and preserved 
him, even in professional matters, from the slightest collis- 
ion with the vulgar, which, in life as in art, was his abomi- 
nation. Would that she had done as much for him in 
regard to the civil relations of life, as they are called, to 
which every inhabitant of earth is subject ! How infinitely 
higher would Beethoven's genius have soared, if, in the 
ordinary intercourse of life, he had not been brought into 
conflict with so many base and contemptible minds ! 

Among the compositions of such various kinds that be- 
long to this period, were, besides the three Sonatas dedi- 
cated to Haydn, the first three Trios, several Quartettes for 
stringed instruments, two Concertos for the piano-forte, the 
Septette, the First and Second Symphony, more than twenty 
Sonatas, and the music to Vigano's balle " Die Geschopfe 
des Prometheus " (" The Creations of Prometheus "), which 
was performed in 1799, at the Imperial Opera House ; but 
the most important of these were not printed till a later 
period. It may not be amiss here to remark, that the num- 
bers affixed to Beethoven's works do not indicate the order 
in which they were composed by the master, but that in 
which they were published. Many works he kept back, 
frequently for several years, for the purpose of severe cor- 
rection, while later compositions were sent into the world 
without delay.* This mode of proceeding, it is true, pro- 
duced a confusion in the continuous numbering of his works, 
which he himself knew not how to remedy. At first, he 
purposed to number the works in the order in which they 
were composed, though some that were earlier written might 
not be published till after later ones were already printed. 
From the chasms which it was on this account found neces- 
sary to leave open, arose disorder ; and hence we meet with 
many a number twice, and even thrice, over in the cata- 
logues, and others not at all. Thus, for example, in the 
catalogue annexed to the "Beethoven Studies," Op. 29 if 

* For the correction of each of his larger works, Beethoven took, upon an 
average, one-third of the time that had been occupied in its composition. Thii 
observation I had occasion to make from many of his works. His corrected 
com thow bow he proceeded in general i:i lue labor of revising and \mp~ov- 


prefixed first to three Sonatas, then to the Preludes, and 
once more to the Quintette in C. In M. Artaria's catalogue, 
No. 29 is even attached to four, No. 3 to six, and No. 75 to 
three works. The latter catalogue specifies in the whole 
one hundred and fifty-two different works of Beethoven's, 
with numbers and opus-figures, while catalogues containing 
merely opus-numbers exhibit only one hundred and thirty- 

That Beethoven had already at this time many more 
commissions for works than he could execute, we learn 
from his letter of the 29th of June, 1800, to Dr. Wegeler,* 
where he likewise mentions that he is paid what he charges 
for them ; and it is interesting to remark how small are tha 
sums then paid for the copyright of his works by publishers 
in comparison with those which he received twenty years 
later, as we shall see in the third period. In his letter of 
the 15th of January, 1801, to the music publisher, Hof- 
meister, in Leipzig,! there is a statement of the prices 
charged for some works, which may serve as a kind of 
standard for others. He asks, for instance, for the Septette 
twenty ducats (ten louis-d'ors), for the First Symphony 
twenty ducats, for the First Concerto ten ducats, and for 
the grand B major Sonata (Op. 22) twenty ducats. 

During a period of at least ten or twelve years, it was at 
Prince Lichnowsky's musical parties that almost all Beet- 
hoven's works were first tried ; and the refined taste of the 
prince, as well as his solid musical acquirements, com- 
manded such respect from Beethoven, that he readily fol- 
lowed his advice in regard to the alteration or improvement 
of this or that in his composition, a point on which he was 
extremely self-willed. Thus, too, at a later period, he would 
rather hear censures than praise from those to whom he 
gave credit for comprehending him ; and but very few per- 
formers could boast of being so fortunate as to be allowed 
to teach him the peculiarities and the treatment of their 
respective instruments. M. Kraft, the elder, and subse- 
quently M. Linke, taught him the mechanism of the violon- 

* See Supplement, No. I. 

t Printed in the Xette Zeitschrift fur Musik, No. 19, of the year 1837. Foi 
the series of Boetliov 'ii'* letters to the music-publishers of Leipzig, ec Supple 
eut. Wo. I. 


cello, M. Punto that of the hum, and M. Friedlowsky, the 
elder, that of the clarinet ; and it was these artists whom 
Beethoven chiefly consulted respecting his compositions, 
and to whose arguments he listened, even when it went 
ever so much against the grain to alter this or that pas- 

The quartette which so early as that time had attained 
high distinction, consisting of Schuppanzigh, first violin, 
Sina, second violin, Weiss, Bratsche (viola) Kraft the 
elder, alternating with Linke, violoncello ; which at a later 
period acquired universal and well-deserved celebrity by 
the appellation of "The Rasumowsky Quartette," this 
quartette enraptured the musical circle of Prince Lich- 
nowsky ; and into the souls of these four superior artists did 
Beethoven in time breathe his own sublime spirit. Him 
only who can boast of such good fortune I call the scholar, 
the disciple, of a great master, who can and must further 
diffuse his precepts in all their purity. How to place the 
fingers on the instrument, how to perform difficult passages 
upon it, can be taught by thousands, without possessing a 
single spark of genius. Not the skilful management of 
technicalities, the spirit alone is the truth of every art. 
And this spirit, which in Beethoven himself attained its 
full vigor only with the lapse of time, gradually grew up in 
this association composing that quartette, till it arrived at 
its full development ; and thus it continued till Beethoven's 
death, though Messrs. Sina and Weiss had left Vienna, and 
their places had been supplied by two worthy successors, 
Messrs. Holz and Kaufmann.f The reunion of these four 
artists, over the musical purity of whose manners Beetho- 
ven never ceased to watch with anxiety, was justly regarded 
as the only genuine school for acquiring a knowledge of 
Beethoven's quartette-music, that new world full of sublime 
conceptions and revelations. A letter addressed by the 
great master to this quartette, when, in 1825, one of his 

* Beethoven was not accustomed to ask singers if they could execute what 
he had written. The consequence was, that these made arbitrary alterations 
without consulting him. 

f Of the first members of that quartette, which belongs to the history of tlw 
art, M. Sina is the only one now living, and in Paris. M. Franz Weiss dieil 
nbortly before Beethoven, M. Schuppanzigh soon after him. and M. Linke a few 
fears since. 


.asfc difficult quartettes was to be performed for the first 
time before a select audience, I must not here omit, on 
account of its humorous tenor, particularly as it proves at 
the same time Beethoven's anxiety in their behalf, which 
has been alluded to above. It is verbatim as follows: 

" My dear Friends, Herewith each of you will receive what 
belongs to him, and is hereby engaged, upon condition that each 
binds himself upon his honor to do his best to distinguish himself, 
and to surpass the rest. 

" This paper must be signed by each of those who have to co- 
operate in the affair in question. BBETHOVEJ*." 

(Here follow the four signatures.) 

If I further mention, that, towards the end of this first 
period of his life, Beethoven made a professional tour, of 
but short duration, it is true, to Leipzig and Berlin ; that 
he excited a great sensation in both these cities ; and that 
his merits were duly appreciated, I think I may fairly con- 
clude the first part of the life of that gigantic genius, who 
had thus far already marked out for himself the course 
which he meant to pursue, and from which he was not to 
be diverted, even by the storms that soon afterwards burst 
over the musical world. I shall therefore pause only to 
cast a rapid glance at the state of the art, and at the pre- 
vailing taste of that period. 

In all Germany, and particularly in Vienna, music was 
much cultivated, and that chiefly good music (because then 
there was not so much bad produced as succeeding years 
have brought forth) ; for the lower classes, among whom 
there had previously been many attentive auditors, began to 
pay more and more attention to the divine art, but at the 
same time rarely possessed high mental cultivation, or had 
a just conception of the nature of music and its sublimest 
object, and upon the whole was still full of prejudices against 
every art; when the number of composers was not yet 
swollen to legion, and was confined to those who were really 
qualified by Nature, though not always endowed with the 
lofty powers of genius. But all these persons meant 
hon 3stly by art. which, now-a-days, is too rarely the case 


fcnd, to mean honestly by a matter to which one dedicates 
one's abilities, tends greatly to promote its success. The 
magicians of those days, Herder, Wieland, Lessing, Gothe, 
and many more ; together with Gluck, Sebastian Bach 
and his sons, Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, and the aspiring 
Beethoven, had exercised such a beneficial influence on the 
nobler, the intellectual cultivation, especially of the superior 
classes, that art and science were reckoned by very many 
among the highest, the chief requisites of intellectual exist- 
ence. In the German opera, which, through Gluck and 
Mozart, had attained its acme, and arrived at the same 
degree of perfection and estimation as the Italian, truth of 
expression, dignity, and sublimity in every point, were far 
more highly prized than the mere fluency of throat, hollow 
pathos, and excitements of sense, studied in that of the 
present day. These two institutions operated powerfully 
on all who were susceptible of what is truly beautiful and 
noble. Haydn's "Creation," and Handel's oratorios, at- 
tracted unprecedented auditories, and afforded the highest 
gratification, with bands of one hundred and fifty, or at 
most two hundred performers ; whereas, in our over-refined 
times from six to eight hundred, nay, even upwards of a 
thousand, are required by people in order to enjoy the din 
which this legion produces, while little or no attention is 
paid to the main point.* In shore, at that time people 
thankfully accepted great things offered with small means, 
sought mind and soul in music as the highest gratification, 
and had no conception of that materialism which now-a- 
days presides over musical matters, any more than they had 
of the tendency of the gradual improvements in the mechan- 
ism of musical instruments and their abuse to lower taste. 
The dillettantism of that period remained modestly in its 
place, and did not offer itself for hire, as at the present day, 
in every province and in every country ; paid sincere respect 
to art and artists, and arrogated to itself no position which 
the accomplished professional man alone should have occu- 

* The consequences of this excess must Inevitably follow, and the gigantic 
enterprises of this kind that are so frequently seen and heard of, resting on in- 
secure foundations, will, by degrees, fall of themselves, after doing mur.h mor* 
Injury than benefit to the art. 


pied a mal-practice now so common in many places. In 
a word, people really loved music without ostentation : they 
allowed it to operate upon them with its magic charms, no 
matter whether it was executed by four performers or by 
four hundred, and employed it in general as the surest 
medium for improving heart and mind, and thus giving a 
noble direction to the feelings. The German nation could 
still derive the inspiration of simple greatness, genuine sen- 
sibility, and humane feelings, from its music ; it still thor- 
oughly understood the art of drawing down from the magic 
sphere of harmony the inexpressible and the spiritually 
sublime, and securing them for itself. 

In and with those times, and among their noblest and 
best, lived Beethoven, in cheerful Vienna, where his genius 
found thousand-fold encouragement to exert its power, free 
and unfettered, and exposed to no other misrepresentations 
and enmity than those of envy alone. 

This was a splendid era of art, such an era as may per- 
haps never recur ; and, with special reference to Beethoven, 
the golden age. Under such circumstances, surrounded and 
beloved by persons of such delicate sentiments, he ought to 
have been completely happy ; and he certainly would have 
been so but for a hardness of hearing, which even then 
that is to say, in the latter years of this first period of 
his life began to afflict him, and was sometimes of long 
continuance. This complaint, which affected his temper, 
was subsequently aggravated into a dreadful disease, which 
rendered him inexpressibly miserable. 


FROM 1800 TO OCTOBBR, 1813. 

t, metal View of the Second Period of Beethoven's Life. Composition of bli 
" Christ on the Mount of Olives," and " Fldelio." His Brothers, Carl mnd 
Jobann: their Mischievous Influence. His Severe Illness. Remarkable 
Will addressed to them. His " Sinfonia Eroica," In Honor of Napoleon . 
Count Moritz von Lichnowsky . Opera of " Fldelio." Beethoven^ Neglect 
of Vocal Performers. Their Intrigues and Cabals. His Passion for 
Julia. Letters to her. Disappointed Love. Countess Marie ErdSdy. 
Beethoven as Director of the Orchestra. Animadversions on Statements 
of Ferdinand Ries. Beethoven forms a Friendship with Count Franz von 
Brunswick and Baron G-leichenstein. Prices paid for his Compositions 
during the Second Period. Misconduct of his Brothers. Defence of his 
Character against the Charge of Cowardice. Annuity settled upon him, to 
keep him in Austria. His Dislike of, and Reconciliation with, Hummel. 
Foreign Visitors. Bettina Brentano. Gothe. Beethoven's Frequent 
Change of Residence. His Domestic Circumstances. 

THIS second period is, from beginning to end, a complete 
labyrinth ; in which the great composer was lost, and where 
the biographer, too, migbt lose his way along with him, if 
he were not to hold all the threads of this drama firmly and 
tightly in his hands, and if he were not intimately ac- 
quainted with the characters of all the actors in it. The 
"evil principle," in the shape of his two brothers, Carl and 
Johann, incessantly besets him, and pursues him wherever 
he goes. Fate deprives him of hearing, and thus bars the 
access to word or tone. A host of friends and admirers of 
all classes throng around him for the purpose of delivering 
him from both these evils : they pour their counsels into 
the ear of poor Beethoven, who listens only to those of the 
last friend, which, however, the " evil principle " is always 
*t hand to counteract. The entanglements multiply : envy, 


intrigue, and all sorts of passions, strive to perform their 
parts to the best of their power, and close every avenue and 
outlet. With regret, the biographer is obliged here to 
inform the reader beforehand, that this drama unfortunately 
is not concluded in this second period : at the same time 
he admits with pleasure, that, in the thousand conflicts and 
collisions, the sacred Muse conducted her high-priest with 
protecting hand, since she caused him to meet with several 
excellent friends, who found means to secure his confidence 
for a length of time, and assisted to bring him as unharmed 
is could be expected out of this labyrinth of human frailties 
and passions to the third period of his life.* 

The scene before us shows but too plainly how difficult a 
task is here imposed upon the biographer, to unravel this 
tangled web, and, with its threads, to oontinue to weave 
the history with a due regard to truth and justice. He 
shall therefore be obliged to treat very summarily of the 
greater part of those unhappy circumstances, together with 
their causes ; and to throw them overboard, wherever it 
can be done, as superfluous ballast, entreating the reader to 
have recourse to his own imagination for filling up the 
details of many a scene. 

In the year 1800, we find Beethoven engaged in the 
composition of his " Christ on the Mount of Olives," the first 
performance of which took place on the 5th of April, 1803. 
He wrote this work during his summer residence at Het- 
zendorf, a pleasant village, closely contiguous to the gardens 
of the imperial palace of Schonbrunn, where he passed 
several summers of his life in profound seclusion. There 
he again resided in 1805, and wrote his " Fidelio." A cir- 
cumstance connected with both these great works, and of 
which Beethoven many years afterwards still retained a 
lively recollection, was, that he composed them in the 
thickest part of the wood in the park of Schonbrunn, seated 
between the two stems of an oak, which shot out from the 
main trunk at the height of about two feet from the ground. 
This remarkable tree, in that part of the park to the left 

* Count Franz of Brunswick, Baron J. GHeichenstein, Baron Paaqualatt, M 
ind Madame Stretcher, and ICoriti Count ron Licbnowiky. 


of the Gloriett, I found with Beethoven in 1823, and 
the sight of it called forth interesting reminiscences of 
the former period. With respect to the above-mentioned 
oratorio, I ought not to omit mentioning the circumstance, 
that Beethoven, in the last year of his life, found fault with 
himself for having treated the part of Christ too dramati- 
cally, and would have given a great deal to be able to cor- 
rect that "fault." Towards the end of the autumn of 
1800, his Second Symphony, and the Concerto in C minor, 
were performed for the first time. 

It was during this period that his brother Carl (his real 
name was Caspar), who had some years previously followed 
him to Vienna, began to govern him, and to make Beetho- 
ven suspicious of his sincerest friends and adherents, from 
wrong notions, or, perhaps, even from jealousy. It was 
ooly the still undiniinished authority of Prince Liclmowsky 
over Beethoven and his true interests, that intimidated the 
latter, and somewhat checked the perversity of his brother 
Carl, and thereby peace was still for a short time insured 
to our Beethoven and those around him. At any rate, here 
already commences the history of Beethoven's sufferings, 
which terminated only with his death, and which originated 
not only in the conduct of his brother, but also in his own 
gradually increasing deafness, and the distrust which it 
engendered. This first brother was joined in time by a 
second, Johann, whose sentiments soon became identified 
with those of Carl ; so that the mass of the counterpoise to 
the scale containing what was truly necessary and salutary 
for Beethoven became too compact, and defied all who were 
acquainted with his noble disposition and his aspiring 
genius, and who had striven to elevate the latter by means 
of the former. And how did Beethoven behave amidst 
the innumerable contradictions and contrasts that already 
everywhere pursued him? Like a boy. who, having 
dropped from an ideal world upon the earth, utterly desti- 
tute of experience, is tossed like a ball from hand to hand, 
consequently is entirely under the influence of others ; and 
such waa Beethoven's case throughout his whole life. 

Let this serve the reader for a key to many an enigma 
that will hereafter present itself to him in regard to Beet- 


hoven's conduct. We perceive from this explanation how 
complicated those circumstances are already becoming 
which must necessarily operate upon his mental and intel- 
lectual exertions, and ultimately on his whole physical 
existence. But, at the same time, we see how much de- 
pends on those about such a man, who continues in a sort 
of childhood, but whose mind attains a greatness that cau- 
not harmonize with anything about him; whose will in 
every thing becomes absolute law, even for the purpose of 
trying and condemning himself. Such was Beethcven 
throughout his whole life. Hence his never-ceasing oppo- 
sition to every existing political institution: for, in his ideal 
world, every thing was different, every thing better; and 
whoever coincided in these notions, to him he attached him- 
self, and frequently with the warmest affection. Such 
impressions, however, were but transient, owing, in many 
cases, to a too ready accordance with his notions, when this 
appeared to be the result not of conviction, but of personal 
respect for himself. This he termed flattery, and to him it 
was at all times particularly offensive. 

In the first months of 1802, Beethoven was attacked by 
a severe illness, in which he was attended by Dr. Sr.hmidt, 
the celebrated physician, whom he numbered among his 
esteemed friends, and to whom, in token of gratitude, he 
dedicated the Septette arranged by himself as a Trio. On 
his recovery, he removed to Heiligenstadt, a village about 
seven miles distant from Vienna, where he passed the 
whole of the summer. There he wrote that remarkable will, 
which I sent after his death to the editor of " The Wiener 
Theater Zeitung," and to M. Rochlitz, at Leipzig, for the 
" Musikalische Zeitung " of that city. That document, 
which must not be omitted here, is to this effect : * 

" For my Brothers, Carl and Beethoven. 

" O ye who consider or declare me to be hostile, obstinate, or 
misanthropic, what injustice ye do me ! ye know not the secret 
causes of that which to you wears such an appearance. My heart 

* This document, In Beethoven's own handwriting, has lately been left IE 
charge of Messrs. Cramer and Co., to be disposed of for the benefit of a female 
relative of Beevboven'a, who hopea to derive gome advantage from its ! - 


and my mind were from childhood prone to the tender feelings of 
affection. Nay, I was always disposed even to perform great 
actions. But only consider, that, for the last six years, I nave 
been attacked by an incurable complaint, aggravated by the un- 
skilful treatment of medical men, disappointed from year to year 
in the hope of relief, and at last obliged to submit to the endur- 
ance of an evil, the cure of which may last perhaps for years, if 
it is practicable at all. Born with a lively, ardent disposition, 
susceptible to the diversions of society, I was forced at an early 
age to renounce them, and to pass my life in seclusion. If I strove 
at any time to set myself above all this, oh how cruelly was I 
driven back by the doubly painful experience of my defective 
hearing ! and yet it was not possible for me to say to people, 
'Speak louder bawl for I ani deaf!' Ah 1 how could I 
proclaim the defect of a sense that I once possessed in the highest 
perfection, in a perfection in which few of my colleagues possess 
or ever did possess it ? Indeed, I cannot ! Forgive me, then, if 
ye see me draw back when I would gladly mingle among you. 
Doubly mortifying is my misfortune to me, as it must tend to cause 
me to be misconceived. From recreation in the society of my 
fellow-creature?, from the pleasures of conversation, from the effu- 
sions of friendship, I am cut off. Almost alone in the world, I 
dare not venture into society more than absolute necessity requires. 
I am obliged to live as in exile. If I go into company, a painful 
anxiety comes over me, since I am apprehensive of being exposed 
to the danger of betraying my situation. Such has been my state, 
too, during this half year that I have spent in the country. En 
joined by my intelligent physician to spare my hearing as much 
as possible, I have been almost encouraged by him in my present 
natural disposition ; though, hurried away by my fondness for 
society, I sometimes suffered myself to be enticed into it. But 
what a humiliation, when any one standing beside me could hear 
at a distance a flute that I could not hear, or any one heard the 
shepherd singing, and I could not distinguish a sound ! Such cir- 
cumstances brought me to the brink of despair, and had well nigh 
made me put an end to my life : nothing but my art held my hand. 
Ah ! it seemed to me impossible to quit the world before I had 
produced all that I felt myself called to accomplish. And so I 
endured this wretched life, so truly wretched, that a somewhat 
speedy change is capable of transporting me from the best into 
the worst condition. Patience so I am told I must choose 
for my guide. I have done so. Steadfast, I hope, will be my reso- 
lution to persevere, till it shall please the -inexorable Fates to 
cut the thread. Perhaps there may be amendment; perhaps 
Dot. I am prepared for the worst, I, who so early as my twenty- 


eighth year was forced to become a philosopher. It is not easy 
for the artist, more difficult than for any other. O God ! thou 
lookest down upon my misery ; thou knowest that it is accom- 
panied with love of my fellow-creatures and a disposition to do 
good 1 O men ! when ye shall read this, think that ye have 
wronged me : and let the child of affliction take comfort on find- 
ing one like himself, who, in spite of all the impediments of nature, 
yet did all that lay in his power to obtain admittance into the 
rank of worthy artists and men. You, my brothers, Carl and 

, as soon as I am dead, if Prof. Schmidt be yet living, 

request him, in my name, to write a description of my disease, 
and to that description annex this paper, that after my death the 
world may at least be as much as possible reconciled with me. At 
the same time, 1 declare both of you the heirs of the little prop- 
erty (if it can be so called) belonging to me. Divide it fairly ; 
agree together, and help one another. What you have done to 
grieve me, that, you know, has long been forgiven. Thee, brother 
Carl, I thank in particular, for the affection thou hast shown me 
of late. My wish is that you may live more happily, more exempt 
from care, than I have done. Recommend virtue to your chil- 
dren ; that alone not wealth can give happiness. I speak 
from experience. It was this that upheld me even in affliction; 
it is owing to this and my art that I did not terminate my life by 
suicide. Farewell, and love one another. I thank all friends, espe- 
cially Prince Lichnowsky and Prof. Schmidt. I wish that Prince 
L.'s instruments may remain in the possession of one of you ; but 
let no quarrel arise between you on account of them. In case, 
however, they can be more serviceable to you in another way, 
dispose of them. How glad I am to think that I may be of use 
to you even in my grave ! So let it be done ! I go to meet death 
with joy. If he comes before I have had occasion to develop all 
my professional abilities, he will come too soon for me, in spite 
of my hard fate, and I should wish that he had delayed his arrival. 
But even then I am content, for he will release me from a state 
of endless suffering. Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee with 
firmness. Farewell, and do not quite forget me after 1 am dead 
I have deserved that you should think of me, for in nay lifetime 
have often thought of you to make you happy. May y ou ever be 


m. p. (L.S.) 

" HEILIGKNSTAOT, Oct. 6, 1802." 

On the outside was the following : 

" For my brothers, Carl and , to read and to execute 

uiy demise. 



" HEILIGENSTADT, Oct. 10, 1802. 

" Thus, then, I take my leave of thee, and that with sorrow 
5fes, the fond hope that I brought hither with me of cure, at least 
to a certain point, will now entirely forsake me. As the leaves 
of autumn fall withered to the ground, so is that hcpe become 
withered for me. Nearly as I came hither do I go away ; even 
that lofty courage, which frequently animated me in the fine days 
of summer, has abandoned me. O Providence ! grant that a day 
of pure joy may once break for me ! How long have I been a 
stranger to the delightful sound of real joy ! When, O God ! 
when can I again feel it in the temple of Nature and of men ? 
never ? Nay, that would be too hard ! " * 

It was not till the autumn of 1802 that his state of mind 
had so far improved as to permit him to resume a plan which 
he had formed of doing homage to Napoleon, the hero of the 
day, in a grand instrumental work, and to set about its exe- 
cution. But it was not till the following year that he ap- 
plied himself in good earnest to that gigantic composition, 
known by the title of " Sinfonia Eroica," which, however, 
in consequence of various interruptions, was not finished till 
1804. In the mean time, Beethoven wrote several sonatas 
and quartettes, which were bespoken by various noble per- 
sonages and publishers. The original idea of that sympho- 
ny is said to have been suggested by Gen. Bernadotte, who 
was then French ambassador at Vienna, and bad a high 
esteem for our Beethoven. So I was informed by several of 
his friends. Count Moritz Lichnowsky (brother of Prince 
Lichnowsky), who was frequently with Beethoven in Berna- 
dotte's company, and who is my authority for many circum- 
stances belonging to this second period, gave me the same 
account. He was always about Beethoven, and was not 
less attached to him than his brother.f The particulars 

* The whole tenor of this will, or rather memorandum addressed to hif 
brothers, attests the state of deep melancholy into which Beethoven had fallen 
on account of his deafness, a state, which, owing to the same cause, was of 
frequent recurrence. That throughout this paper Beethoven should not have 
mentioned the name of his second brother, Johann, and only marked itwitb 
dots, is singularly striking; since this brother, as we have just seen, had recently 
come to Vienna, and had scarcely begun to take any part in the occupations and 
other concerns of the great composer. 

| The noble-minded Count Moritz Lichnowsky, whose devotednesg to the in- 
terests of Beethoven the latter acknowledged by the dedication of two works, 
the Variations, Op. 35, and the Sonata, Op. 90 (E minor), died in December, 
1838, in Vienna. He was the last of that set so remarkable in the fiietory of (ha 
wt, which used to assemble at the house of his brother, the prince 


relative to this subject, communicated to me by Beethoven 
himself, I shall reserve for the third period, where I shall 
have occasion to make mention of a letter addressed, in 
1823, to the King of Sweden, formerly Gen. Bernadctte. 

In his political sentiments, Beethoven was a republican : 
the spirit of independence natural to a genuine artist gave 
him a decided bias that way. Plato's " Republic " was 
transfused into his flesh and blood, and upon the principles 
of that philosopher he reviewed all the constitutions in the 
world. He wished all institutions to be modelled upon, the 
plan prescribed by Plato. He lived in the firm belief that 
Napoleon entertained no other design than to republican ize 
France upon similar principles ; and thus, as he conceived, 
a beginning would be made for the general happiness of 
the world. Hence his respect and enthusiasm for Napo- 

A fair copy of the musical work for the first consul of the 
French republic, the conqueror of Marengo, with the dedi- 
cation to him, was on the point of being despatched through 
the French embassy to Paris, when news arrived in Vienna 
that Napoleon Bonaparte had caused himself to be pro- 
claimed Emperor of the French. The first thing Beetho- 
ven did on receiving this intelligence was to tear off the 
title-leaf of this symphony, and to fling the work itself, with 
a torrent of execrations against the new French emperor, 
against the " new tyrant," upon the floor, from which he 
would not allow it to be lifted.* It was a long time before 
Beethoven recovered from the shock, and permitted this 
work to be given to the world with the title of " Sinfonia 
Eroica," and underneath it this motto : " Per feste glare il 
sovvenire d'un gran uomo." f I shall only add, that it was 
not till the tragic end of the great emperor at St. Helena, 
that Beethoven was reconciled with him, and sarcastically 
remarked, that, seventeen years before, he had composed 
appropriate music to this catastrophe, in which it was ex- 
actly predicted, musically, but unwittingly, alluding to 
the Dead March in that symphony. 

* Such is the account given hy Count Moritz Lichuowsky, who, with Ferdi- 
und Hies, witnessed the circumstance. 

t IB not this meant to be, ' Per festeggiare la memoria d'un grand' uowo" 


In the years 1804 and 1805, Beethoven was almost ex- 
clusively engaged in the composition of his opera " Fide- 
lio," in three acts, which was performed, for the first time, 
by the title of " Leonore," at the Theatre an der Wein, in 
the autumn of 1805.* The fortunes which befel this ex- 
traordinary work and its author, till it was rounded into the 
form in which we now enjoy it, were more singular thai. 
perhaps any production of this kind before or since ever ex- 
perienced ; and I fear that I shall be too prolix, even if 1 
relate only the more important circumstances, and their con- 
equences to the author. 

It was the overture, in the first place, that put our mas- 
ter in a painful situation. It was finished; but the com- 
poser himself was not thoroughly satisfied with it, and 
therefore agreed that it should be first tried by a small or- 
chestra, at Prince Lichnowsky's. There it was unani- 
mously pronounced, by a knot of connoisseurs, to be too 
light, and not sufficiently expressive of the nature of the 
work : consequently it was laid aside, and never made its 
appearance again in Beethoven's lifetime.! M. Tob. Has- 
linger of Vienna, to whom this overture was transferred, 
among other things, by his predecessor, published it a few 
years since, numbered Op. 138. 

The second overture (in C major, like the first), with 
which the opera was first performed upon the stage, is in- 
disputably the cleverest of the four overtures that Beetho- 
ven wrote to "Fidelio," and the one which best characterizes 
the subject. But it was too difficult in the part of the 
wind-instruments, which always executed their task to the 
great vexation of the composer. It was therefore obliged to 
give way to a third (that published by Breitkopf and Har- 
tel_), which has the same motivo in the introduction as also 
in the allegro movement, with small variations; but upon 
the whole is totally different from the second, which has not 
yet been published. 

In the third overture, which was substituted for the two 
former, too hard a task was imposed upon the stringed in- 

* The originally French libretto was translated into German by Joteph 

t In the third period, I shall have something more to say about it la th 
proper ] hM*, 


struments, so that these also were found deficient in th 
requisite precision. 

The fourth and last overture (in E major), Beethoven 
wrote because the third was moreover deemed too long, and 
he would not agree to curtail it. It was not published till 
1815, with the opera, after the latter had been for many 
years replaced on the list of acting pieces ; and this time, 
with partial alterations of the libretto, by Friedrich Tre- 

In my account of the fii-st period, where I had occasion 
to mention Beethoven's anxiety for the improvement of the 
Schuppanzigh Quartette, I remarked that he never asked 
he singers if they could sing what he wrote, or if it would 
be necessary for him to make alterations here and there, to 
render their parts easier of execution. Thus, too, in com- 
posing, he gavo full scope to his genius, and paid too little 
attention to the precepts given him many years before by 
Salieri relative to the treatment of the vocal parts. Hence, 
at rehearsals, he came into unpleasant collisions with the 
singers ; and it is well known that the kapell-meister, Ignatz 
von Seyfried, who then had an engagement at the Theatre 
an der Wien, was frequently obliged to act the part of me- 
diator between Beethoven and the vocal performers, and 
that he gave him on this subject many a useful piece of ad- 
vice, founded upon long experience.f If Beethoven had 
thus far encountered abundance of vexations, the measure 

* Refer to Breuning'8 letter to Dr. and Mad. Wegeler. Supplement, No. II. 

The circumstance which occurred at the house of Prince Lichnowsky, on oc- 
casion of the alteration made in this opera, in 1807, which M. Rockel. * thou 
engaged as tenor singer at the Theatre an der Wien (with whom I am myself 
we'll acquainted), afterwards related to M. Ries in London, and which the fatter 
communicates in his Notizen iiber Jleethoven (p. 105), is interest! .ig and - 
thentic. Not less worthy of notice is Breuning's letter of the 20th of June, 1806, 
to Dr. Wegeler (p. 62). on the fortunes of the opera of Fidelio. at its first 
representation. Count Moritz Lichuowsky was one of the company, in which 
Beethoven opposed, with might and main, the omission of a single bar, and gsra 
all present a great deal of trouble. 

f It is said, that, in the rehearsals of his Christ on the Mount of Olive*, 
(uarrcls took place from similar causes between Beethoven and the singers. 

* The following note from Wegeler's Notizen is, I think, not misplaced here : 
"Dear Rdckcl, Try and do your best with Milder [Madame Milder, for whom tn 

part of I'idelio was written. ED.], "and pray tell her you ask her to-day in my name, 
that this enrly invitation may prevent her sin^iusi any teliert the To-morrow I meat 
to come ravself. to kiss the I sm of her garment.' Do not forget Marconi " [a cele 
b rated centra-alto of 'he time, ED.], "and, above all, do not be angry with me for 
tbiu iivcr Imrtht rung you. Ever yours, 



of tnem was filled by the coldness with which the opera 
was received at its first representation. The cause of this 
indifference was not the immoderate length and breadth of 
the whole upon so slender a pedestal as the meagre libretto 
was ; but it was as much owing to the unlucky circumstance, 
that the audience consisted chiefly of French military, who 
had entered Vienna a few days before, and were more 
familiar with the chunder of cannon than with sublime :nu- 
ical conceptions, especially when they could not understand 
any thing of their nature and subject. This may serve in 
part to account for its slender success. But is not some 
blame to be attributed to Beethoven himself? He would 
not listen to advice from any quarter, and he had therefore 
to take a lesson from experience. But was all the experi- 
ence in the world of any benefit to him? Alas, no! a? 
we shall see on a decisive occasion, which occurred in 1824, 
at the rehearsals of his second Mass, and the ninth Sym- 

At that time, the friend of his juvenile years, Stephen 
von Breuniug, was particularly serviceable to him. He 
spared neither advice nor active exertions in his behalf, 
and helped the inexperienced Beethoven through all the 
"intrigues and cabals" which he had to encounter on the 
part of the managers of the theatre and the vocal perform- 
ers.* But still too young, and of a disposition as inflam- 
mable as Beethoven himself, he was unable to avert any 
mortifications from the head of his friend, and only drew 
them down upon his own in an equal degree, and thus 
doubled his burden, which the interference of the " evil 
principle" rendered still more oppressive. Others, who 

* Mozart experienced similar, nay, still more painful mortifications, calum- 
nies, and even depreciation of Ms abilities, on account of his Opera Die 
Entfuhrung au dem Serail, from the singers and other envious crcaturrs sit 
the head of whom was his professional colleague, M. Salieri. We learn fiom 
the biography of that unrivalled composer, published by M. von Xissen and 
Mozart's widow, that those cabals and persecutions were carried much fur- 
thei oil .occasion of his succepding opera. Figaro's Hoehzeit; so that, on the 
conclusion of the second act. Mozart, filled with indignation, went to the Emperor 
Joseph, in his box, and complained of the singers, who were brought back to 
their duty by a severe reprimand from the monarch. Such baseness and such 
malice, which Incessantly persecuted the immortal Mozart, even after his death, 
'and which found means to deprive his family, left in necessitous circumstances, 
of the promised support of the Kmperor Leopold, arc, and will perhaps forevei 
remain juparalleled. 


washed as well to Beethoven in this affair as Breuning, 
were not sparing of their advice ; and thus the unfortunate 
composer was involved in a maze of counsels and opinions, 
as he frequently was in the course of his life, from which 
nothing but his good genius and love ultimately extricated 
him. At that time, he should have had at his elbow a 
friend like Wegeler, who, according to Beethoven's account, 
possessed the talent of giving a comic turn to every thing 
that was likely to produce discord and strife between 
friends, thus putting them all in good humor with one 
another again. All the intrigues and cabals to which Beet- 
hoven was exposed on occasion of his first opera might 
perhaps not have left behind that disagreeable impression 
which made him shrink from the mere idea of writing a 
second. It may be asked, where was then his powerful 
patron and friend, Prince Lichnowsky, who would prob- 
ably have cut the knot ? Shortly before the entrance 
of the French troops, he quitted Vienna, with many thou- 
sand others, and did not return till the autumn of the 
following year. 

After these fatal storms were over, and Beethoven's mind 
had somewhat recovered its composure, he wrote the fourth 
Symphony in B major, in point of form, indisputably the 
most finished of all ; and thus storm and tempest were sud- 
denly succeeded by the brightest sunshine. Rapid as such 
transitions are in nature, so rapid was the change in his 
tone of mind ; and hence ensued not a few contrasts. A 
musical idea, for instance, which engrossed his imagina- 
tion, could suddenly chase all clouds from his brow, and 
make him forget every thing around him, excepting that 
central point in which all his feelings converged. This 
was the passion for his Julia, which had then attained its 
greatest intensity, and seemed to occupy all his thoughts. 
In the summer of 1806, he took a journey to an Hunga- 
rian bathing-place, on account of his gradually increasing 
deafness. There he addressed to the object of his affection 
the following three interesting letters, which I possess ia 
his own handwriting: 


" JULT 6TH, 1806, 

" My angel, my all, my other self! Only a few words to-day 
and in pencil (written with yours). My future abode will ce"> 
tainly not be fixed till to-morrow. What a frivolous waste ol 
time, &c. i Why this profound sorrow, when necessity com- 
mands ? Can our love subsist otherwise than by sacrifices, by 
not wishing for every thing ? Canst thou help it that thou art not 
wholly mine, that I am not wholly thine V Cast thine eyes on 
beautiful nature, and let not thy uiiucl be ruffled by that which 
must be. Love requires every thing, and very justly : so it is 
I with thee, thou with me ; only thou forgettest so easily that I 
must live for myself and for thee. If we were completely united, 
thou wouldst not feel this sorrow any more than I. My journey 
was terrible. I did not arrive here till four o'clock yesterday 
morning, for want of horses. At the last stage, I was warned not 
to travel at night, and told to beware of a certain wood; but this 
only spurred me on, and I was wrong; owing to the execrable 
roads, a bottomless by-road, the carriage broke down. Prince 
Esterhazy, who travelled hither by the other road, had the same 
Accident with eight horses that I had with four. Nevertheless, I 
!eel some pleasure again, as I always do when I have conquered 
some difficulty. But now let us pass rapidly from externals to 
internals. We shall soon meet again. I cannot communicate 
to thee to-day the observations which I have been making for some 
days past on my lite. If our hearts were close to on*? another, J 
should certainly not make any such. I have much to say to thee. 
Ah ! there are moments when I find that language is nothing. 
Cheer up ! continue to be my true, my only love, my all, as I 
to thee : as for the rest we must leave it to the gods to dispose 
tor us as they please. 

" Thy faithful 



" MONDAY EVENING, July 6, 1806. 

u Thou grievest, my dearest 1 I have just learned that letter* 
must be put into the post very early. Thou grievest ! Ah ! 
where I am, there art thou with me ; with me and thee, I will and 
means to live with thee. What a life!!!! So!!! Without 
thee, persecuted by the kindness of people here and yonder, which, 
methinks, I no more wish to deserve than I really do deserve il 
humility of man towards men it pains me and when I COD 


jider myself in connection with the universe, what am I, and what 
is he who is called the greatest ? And yet again herein lies the 
divine in man ! . . . . Love me as thou wilt, my love for thee is 
more ardent but never disguise thyself from me. Good-night! 
As an invalid who has come for the benefit of the baths, I must 
go to rest. Ah, God ! So near ! So distant ! Is not our lov< 
a truly heavenly structure, but firm as the vault of heaven ? " 


" GOOD-MORNING, on the 7th of July, 1806. 

" Before I was up, my thoughts rushed to thee, my immortal 
beloved ; at times cheerful, then again sorrowful, waiting to see if 
fate will listen to us. I cannot live unless entirely with thee, or 
not at all ; nay, I have resolved to wander about at a distance, 
till I can fly into thine arms, call myself quite at home with thee, 
and send my soul wrapped up in thee into the realm of spirits. 
Yes, alas ! it must be so ! Thou must cheer up, more especially 
as thou knowest my love to thee. Never can another possess my 
heart never ! never 1 O God ! why must one flee from what 
one so fondly loves ! And the lite that I am leading at present is 
a miserable life. Thy love makes me the happiest, and at the 
name time the unhappiest, of men. At my years, I need some 
uniformity, some equality, in my way of Hie ; can this be in our 
mutual situation ? Be easy ! it is only by tranquil contemplate -n 
of our existence that we can accomplish our object of living < 
gether. What longing with tears after thee, my life, my al 
Farewell. Oh 1 continue to love me, and never misdoubt the mo 
faithful heart of thy 

"Beloved LUDWIG." 

With such a heart as Beethoven's, is that to be believe! 
which M. Ries says of him in his "Notizen," p. 117, "He ' 
(namely, Beethoven) "was very often in love, but thes*. 
attachments were mostly of very brief duration. One daj , 
when I was rallying him on the conquest of a fair lady, he 
confessed to me that this one had inthralled him longer 
ind more powerfully than any, that is to say, full seven 

But, with Beethoven's extraordinary susceptibility on 
the point of love, may he not actually have fared the sam 
as others? How many phenomena pass before the eyes a* 
a man, and lea"e behind an impression upon him only foi 


moments or for days ; till at length there comes one which 
instantly strikes deep into his heart, and incessantly goes 
before him, as his pole-star in all he does ! This seemed, 
indeed, to he really the case with Beethoven. That lie 
never forgot the lady in question, is evident from his having 
frequently caused inquiries concerning her to be made by 
myself and others, and from the lively interest that lie 
always took in every thing relating to her. Circumstanc ea 
forbid me to say more on this subject at present. 

Another paper, likewise in his own handwriting, of a 
rather later period, attesting his ardent longing for domestic 
happiness, runs literally thus: "Love, and love alone, is 
capable of giving thee a happier life. God ! let me at 
length find her, her who may strengthen me in virtue, 
who may lawfully be mine ! " 

It cannot admit of a doubt, that if Beethoven had had 
the good fortune to meet with a female of like condition 
with himself, whom he could have called his own, who had 
thoroughly known and loved him, this, with his eminent 
qualities for domestic life, would have proved the founda- 
tion of his happiness ; and that, under these circumstances, 
the world would have many more productions of his genius 
to boast of than it now possesses. Beethoven needed such 
a Constanze as Mozart once called his (as artists and lite- 
rary men in particular ought to have), who could, in like 
manner, have ventured to say to him, in a tone of kindness, 
" Stay at home, Ludwig, and work : such and such a one 
is waiting for what you promised," as Wolfgang's wife is 
reported to have frequently said to him. Such a woman 
would have deserved a monument, which he himself had no 
need of. To say that his deafness caused things to turn 
out otherwise, and that it was almost the only reason that 
Beethoven never enjoyed true happiness, is lamentable, but, 
alas ! too true. It is remarkable, that, notwithstanding the 
great confidence which he placed in me on the subject of 
his attachments, I never heard any thing drop from him 
but names which seemed to point that way ; and it would 
not have become my youth to have questioned him concern- 
ing them. Thus even of the Giulietta to whom I hava 
adverted above, I have heard only casual mention by him 


elf ; and to this tender topic he would not suffer even IIM 
oldest friends to make allusion. What I have stated re- 
specting her is, nevertheless, derived from the most authentic 
sources. The letters which I have inserted offer, moreover, 
incontestable evidence of the truth of what I have men- 

It is further said, that Beethoven cherished a tender 
attachment to a Countess Marie Erdody, to whom he dedi- 
cated the two splendid Trios, Op. 70. But to me it appears 
to have been no more than a friendly intimacy between the 
two.* On this subject I know nothing particular, except- 
ing that this lady, who was fond of the arts, erected in 
honor of her instructor and friend, in the park of one of 
her seats in Hungary, a handsome temple, the entrance to 
which is decorated with a characteristic inscription, perti- 
nently expressing her homage to the great composer. 

As Beethoven once observed of himself, that he was com- 
posing several things at the same time, so this continued 
to be his practice. Thus, in the years 1806, 1807, and 
1808, in which the fourth, fifth, and sixth Symphonies 
those giants of musical poesy sprang from his brain, he 
wrote many other works, as the catalogue attests. His " C 
minor Symphony," f and the " Pastorale," were not brought 
out at the same time, as M. Ries states (p. 83), but at 
different, distant intervals, as they were composed. It 
may be rationally assumed, a priori, that to bring out for 
the first time, and close on the heels of each other, three 
works of such extent, M. Hies even adds to them the 
' Fantasia for the Piano-forte," with orchestra and vocal 
music, at a period when the orchestra had not attained 
that degree of perfection which it has in our days, borders 
on the impossible. 

In this, as in the former period. Beethoven conducted 

* It were sincerely to be wished, that, In future editions of Beethoven'* 
works, the dedications should never be omitted, as is so frequently the case. It 
was in some instances affection, in others gratitude, which gave our artist 
occasion to name those who were loved and esteemed by him; and with many 
>f these dedications not unimportant circumstances are associated. Beethoven 
meant thereby to pay a real tribute of honor and respect to his friends and 
patrons, without harboring the slightest expectation of being presented with 
rings, shirt-plus, gold snuff-boxes, and watches, for hia pub'ic teatimonie* of 

t No.*. 


almost all his greater works himself on their first perform- 
ance. As director of the orchestra, he was neither good 
nor bad. His impetuosity did not permit him to arrive at 
the tranquillity and self-command requisite. Feeling him- 
self what each individual instrument had to do, he strove 
to make each of the performers equally sensible of it, and 
lost himself in gesticulations, which caused a wavering in 
the orchestra. His hardness of hearing, whence his listen- 
ing for the prescribed falling-in of particular instruments, 
moreover occasioned frequent delays in passages where the 
director ought to have urged the whole onward. At the 
time when his hearing was yet perfect, he had not often 
occasion to come in contact with the orchestra, and especi- 
ally to acquire practice in the conducting department at 
the theatre, which is the best school for that purpose. In 
the concert-room, the talent most fitted for this difficult 
function is never fully developed, and remains one-sided 
and awkward. Thus we see composers of eminence in- 
capable of conducting the orchestra in the performance of 
their own works, if they have not previously acquired the 
necessary routine, in listening to, and in superintending, 
aumerous bands. If, therefore, Beethoven was frequently 
involved in unpleasant altercations with his orchestra, this 
was no more than might have been expected; but never 
did he descend to coarseness and abuse : still less does a 
creature in Vienna know any thing about such occurrences 
with the orchestra as are related by his friend and pupil, 
M. Kies (pp. 83 and 84), occurrences which "are said" to 
have happened in Vienna long after M. Hies had gone to 
Petersburg. And what conductor is there but sometimes 
gets into unpleasant squabbles with his orchestra, without 
any jne ever attaching importance to them, or employing 
them as sources for a characteristic account of the man ? * 

* At p. 83, M. Ries speaks of the performance of the Fantasia for the Piano- 
forte, Op. 80, in which the clarinet-player, by overlooking a repetition, occa- 
sioned an interruption. M. Ries proceeds thus with his narrative : " Beethoven 
started up furiously, turned himself round, and abused the members of the 
orchestra in the grossest terms, and in so loud a tone as to be heard by the 
whole audience. At length, he cried ' Begin again!' The theme was re-com- 
menced ; each performer fell in at the proper place, and the result was splendid 
But when the concert was over, the performers, remembering too well the hon- 
rable epiMiet which Beethoven had publicly applied to them, fell into the moM 


This seems to be the proper place for mentioning that it 
*as in this period that the friendships formed by Beethoven 
were increased by two, which had in general great influence 
over him, in the persons of Count Franz von Brunswick and 
Baron J. von Gleichenstein. Though not constantly resi- 
dent in Vienna, they were frequently there ; and Beethoven 
had oppDrtunities of consulting them on matters of impor- 
tance. Both possessing superior abilities and rare equa- 
nimity, and having penetrated deeply into his whole nature 
and his works, acquired such a control over Beethoven, 
without any assumption on their part, as enabled them to 
accomplish much that the officiousness of other friends 
could never have brought about. The former, in particular, 
possessed a profound comprehension of Beethoven's genius 
which I have never met with in so high a degree in any 
other of his admirers. Beethoven seems to have even then 
perceived this mental preponderance of that friend over 
others, when he dedicated to him the gigantic " Sonata, 

vehement rage, as though the affront had only just then been offered ; and vowed 
never to play again if Beethoven was in the orchestra." 

The assertion that Beethoven loudly desired that Fantasia to be repeated, on 
account of the blunder of the first clarinet, is true enough; but, as for any abuse 
of the members of the orchestra, who were not in fault, and that, too, " in the 
grossest terms," M. Fr. Clement, the able orchestra-director, with whom Beet- 
hoven brought out his Fidelio, the fourth, fifth, and sixth Symphonies, and that 
Fantasia, who still occupies his post at the Theatre an der Wien, knows nothing 
about it.* Other members of the orchestra at that time, who are still living, 
know just as little of the matter, and protest against the statements of M. RICH. 
The latter was not present when Fidelio was brought out, for he was then on 
his way to Russia; and those Symphonies mentioned by him (p. 83), were not 
composed by Beethoven till several years afterwards, any more than the Fan- 
tasia in question. 

At p. 84, M. Ries thus continues: "A similar scene is said to have once 
occurred; but the orchestra resolved not to put up with the affront, and per- 
emptorily insisted that he should not conduct. Accordingly, during the rehear- 
sal, Beethoven was obliged to stay in an adjoining room ; and it was a long time 
before this quarrel was made up." 

Not a creature in Vienna has any recollection of such a scene; and, during 
my residence of twenty-three years in that city, I never heard a syllable on that 

* I remember having myself been present at the performance in question, seated in 
a corner of the gallery in the Theatre an der Wien : during the last movement of the 
Fantasia, I perceived, that, like a carriage run away with down-hill, an overturn wan 

SUIKC or stoppage. 

To those who are acquainted with the work, it may be interesting to know tim 
precise point at which the mistake occurred. It was in the passage where, for several 
pages, every three bars make up a triple rhythm, as shown on the following page 
This peculiarly-constructed rhythm has, until the present time, like most of BeetUo 
ren '(-characteristics, remained his undisputed property. KB. 



E ft- ^^mfa^te 




ft; ^ 







F/o 1/wo. 





? r T 



Op. 57," and the " Fantasia, Op. 77." " It must oe of no 
ordinary quality," he probably thought, " if I am to hoiioi 
a worthy friend according to his deserts." * To his friend, 
Baron von Gleichenstein, Beethoven dedicated the grand 
" Sonata with Violoncello, Op. 69." Here I must further 
mention the Imperial Secretary, M. von Zmeskall, who was 
one of Beethoven's warmest friends at that time, and who, 
like the two just mentioned, exercised considerable influence 
over him. To all these three excellent men, the great 
master continued to be attached and grateful as long as he 

It was not the admiration of his genius, but a decided 
comprehension and appreciation of it, that attached Beetho- 
ven to a friend. For idolatrous admirers, his heart was but 
a broad thoroughfare, along which thousands could go in 
and out without jostling against one another. And this is 
a sure sign of the truly superior genius, whose chief desire 
it is to be understood, and completely understood. Aston- 
ishment and admiration will then follow in due time and 

It will now be interesting to observe how much Beetho- 
ven's works had riser! in value since the conclusion of the 
first and beginning of the second period. Among his pa- 
pers, there is an agreement between him and Muzio de- 
menti, dated Vienna, the 20th of April, 1807, signed by both, 
and witnessed by Baron Gleichenstein. According to this 
agreement, Beethoven received from M. Clementi for dupli- 

* The house of Count Franz von Brunswick at Pesth had been for many 
years a seminary of the true and pure professional faith, without prepossession 
in favor of any classic. None of the seductive false doctrines of the present day 
could gain admittance there. To describe the part taken in these pursuits by 
the countess, who is his pupil, and the most exquisite player on the piano-forte 
that I ever heard, would require a separate essay, in order to do justice to her 
performances, and to their effects upon her auditors. Let us hope that these 
abilities may be hereditary in that remarkable family. 

A family akin for talents and abilities to that of Brunswick, and whose pur- 
suits have taken the same direction, is still to be found at Geilenkirchen, in the 
province of Rhenish Prussia. The house of M. Max. Flemming, merchant, of 
Qeilenkircben, near Aix-la-Chapelle, exactly resembles in this point that of th - 
Hungarian magnate. An intimate acquaintance with, and profound comprehen- 
sion of, the musical classics were transmitted by the parents to the children, in 
a degree that is rarely witnessed in our times, when domestic music in particu- 
lar has universally assumed an ephemeral character, and aims only at tickling 
the senses. Thus, in that house, too, a temple has been erected to Beethoven's 
Muse ; and Its service heightens the happiness of the interesting inmates in a 
manner that must inspire the intelligent observer with the warmest interest fof 
persons holding forth so rare an example. 


cates of the following works : 1st, Threb Quartettes ; Ud, 
The Fourth Symphony ; 3d, The Overture to Coriolanus ; 
4th, The Fourth Concerto for the Piano-forte ; 5th, The 
Violin Concerto, for sale in England, the sum of two hun- 
dred pounds sterling. (All these works had already been 
disposed of to German publishers.) Clementi further en- 
gaged by this agreement to pay Beethoven the sum of sixty 
pounds sterling for three sonatas that were not yet com- 

The valuable presents that Beethoven received about this 
time were numerous, but all of them vanished without leav- 
ing any traces behind ; and I have heard friends of his 
assert that the " evil principle " strove to keep not only 
kindly-disposed persons, but valuables of every sort, away 
from him. It is said, that when he was asked, "What is 
become of such a ring, or such a watch ? " he would always 
reply, after some consideration, " I do not know." At the 
same time, he well knew how it had been purloined from 
him ; but he never would accuse his brothers of such dis- 
honesty : on the contrary, he defended them in all their 
proceedings ; and in their bickerings with others, even with 
his most tried friends, he generally admitted, if not loudly, 
yet tacitly, that his brothers were in the right, and thus 
confirmed them in their practices against his personal in- 
terests. In particular, all that his elder brother Carl did 
he most obstinately defended, as he was extremely fond of 
him, and placed great reliance on his abilities.* 

At the time of the second French invasion, in 1809. 
Beethoven did not quit Vienna any more than he had done 
during the first. Had he on this occasion been concerned 
for his personal safety, and capable of such cowardice as M. 
Bies leaves the reader to suppose that he betrayed, t he 
could have taken a thousand opportunities to quit the capi- 
tal before its occupation ; and if, during its bombardment, 
he retreated to the cellar, he did no more than was done, et 

* Among other scenes between Beethoven, his brothers, and friends, M. Ries 
describes with graphic minuteness one which is particularly to the point (p. 88). 
See Supplement. No. X. 

t " During the short bombardment of Vienna by the French, in 1809, Beetho- 
ven was excessively alarmed : he passed most of the time in a cellar at hii 
brother Caspar's, where, besides he covered his head with pillows that he might 
tiot hear the cannon." Such are the words of M. lUea, p. 121 of his Notiztn, 


that critical moment, by the whole population : and Dr. 
Wegeler conjectures that he may have been moreover in- 
duced to take this precaution by the painful effect of the 
thunder of the cannon upon his ailing ear. No person that 
had any opportunity to observe Beethoven closely ever saw 
nim timorous or cowardly. He was precisely the reverse, 
and knew neither fear nor apprehension : and this was 
quite in accordance with his natural character. Or is it to 
be presumed that he was timid and alarmed in the jear 
1809 alone ? Did he not stay in Vienna, and bring out his 
"Fidelio" during the first occupation of the French, in 
1805, though it was just as likely to have been preceded 
by a bombardment of the city ? 

In 1809, Beethoven was offered the appointment of ka- 
pell-meister to the King of Westphalia, with a salary of six 
hundred ducats. This offer of a secure provision was the 
first and the last he ever received in his life, the last, be- 
cause his defective hearing incapacitated him for the func- 
tions of a director of music. But as it was considered dis- 
creditable for Austria to suffer the great composer, whom 
with pride she called her own, to be transferred to another 
country, an offer was made to him on the part of the Arch- 
duke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz, to 
settle upon him an annuity of four thousand florins in pa- 
per-money, so long as he should not have any permanent 
employment in the country, on this single condition, that 
he was not to leave Austria.* To this condition Beethoven 
acceded, and remained. But, so soon as the year 1811, the 
Austrian finance-patent reduced these four thousand florina 
to one-fifth ; nevertheless Beethoven could not prevail upon 
his illustrious patrons to make any modification in tLe 
stipulations of 1809. How he fared in the sequel in regard 
to this fifth of his pension, how materially it was further 
diminished, we shall see at the proper place in the third 

In the year 1810, Beethoven brought out his first Masa 
(Op. 86) at Eisenstadt, the summer residence of Prince 

* To this sum the Archduke Rudolph contributed fifteen hundred florins, 
Prince Lobko wif. seven hundred, and Prince Ferdinand Kinsky eighteen hun- 



Esterhazy. M. Hummel was then kapell-meister to the 
prince. After the service, Prince Paul Esterhazy, who, it 
is well known, had a particular predilection for Haydn's 
church music, received our Beethoven and other eminent 
persons in his mansion. When the composer entered, the 
prince said to him, in an indifferent tone, " But, my dear 
Beethoven, what have you been about here again ? " in al- 
lusion to the work which had just been performed. Dis- 
concerted by this expression of the prince's, Beethoven waa 
still more so when he saw Hummel stand laughing by the 
side of the prince. Fancying that he was laughing at him, 
and moreover that he could perceive a malicious sneer in 
his professional colleague, he could stay no longer in a place 
where his production was so. ill appreciated. He left the 
prince's residence the same day, without ascertaining whe- 
ther that obnoxious laugh had applied to him, or whether it 
might not more probably have been occasioned by the way 
and manner in which the prince expressed himself. His 
hatred to Hummel on this account struck such deep root, 
that I am not acquainted with any second instance of the 
kind in the course of his life. Fourteen years afterwards, 
he related this circumstance to me with as much asperity 
as though it had happened only the preceding day. But 
this dark cloud was dispelled by the energy of his mind ; 
and this would have been the case much sooner had Hum- 
mel made friendly advances, and not kept continually aloof, 
which he did, owing to the fact that both had once been in 
love with the same lady ; that Hummel was, and continued 
to be, the favored suitor, because he had an appointment, 
and had not the misfortune to be hard of hearing. 

When Beethoven heard, in the last days of his life, that 
Hummel was expected at Vienna, he was overjoyed, and 
Baid, " Oh ! if he would but call to see me ! " Hummel did 
call, the very day after his arrival, in company with M. 
And. Streicher; and the meeting of the old friends, after 
they had not seen each other for so many years, was ex- 
tremely affecting. Hummel, struck by Beethoven's suffer- 
ing looks, wept bitterly. Beethoven strove to appease him, 
by holding out to him a drawing of the house at Bohrau in 
which Haydn was born, sent to him that morning by Dia- 


belli, with the words, "Look, my dear Hummel: here is 
Haydn's birthplace ; it is a present that I received this 
morning, and it gives me very great pleasure. So great a 
man born in so mean a cottage ! " Hummel afterwards 
paid him several visits, and every unpleasant circumstance 
that had occurred between them was totally forgotten at 
the first interview. They agreed to meet again the follow- 
ing summer at Carlsbad ; but ten or twelve days afterwards 
Beethoven expired, and Hummel attended him to the 

As it is my intention, as well as my principle, to follow 
merely the more important incidents in Beethoven's life 
that stand in direct relation to his individuality, I shall 
record but one more fact which occurred in the year 1810, 
and which in its results was important to Beethoven. 

That Beethoven was beset by visitors from the mos' 
distant countries, and but too often annoyed by them, must 
appear extremely natural, considering his position with 
regard to his contemporaries. If space permitted, I could 
relate interesting particulars of Germans, Russians, Swedes, 
Poles, Danes, French, and especially of English, who ap- 
proached Beethoven with all the deference they would pay 
to a sovereign, and who, when they were in his presence 
and saw his unhappy situation, of which they could not 
before form any conception, were most of them overwhelmed 
with melancholy. With tears did many a lady of rank 
inscribe the assurance of her profound respect in his con- 
versation-book, since he could no longer hear her voice 1 , 
and with tears in their eyes, too, did most of them take 
leave of him.* Many such scenes did I witness while 1 
was about him. Is the reader curious to learn how Beet- 
hoven behaved towards such visitors ? Always with more 
than usual kindliness, talkative, cordial, witty, never 
as a prince in his realm, and never did he allow his visitors 
to perceive how deeply galling was his misfortune. 

Among his female visitors, in 1810, was Bettina Brentano 
(von Arnim), of Frankfort-on-the-Main, who, in her letters 
to Gothe, has described what passed, and whose reports of 
her interviews with Beethoven in Gb'the's " Briefwechse' 

* Bee Supplement. No. VI 


mit eineinKinde" (Grothe's "Correspondence with a Child "), 
must be well known to many of the admirers of the great 
master. It is the latter circumstance, that, for the reasoo 
assigned in the introduction, induces me to make a brief 
remark on Bettina's statements. 

Whoever reads, in the work just mentioned (Gothe's 
" Briefwechsel," Band ii. 190), what the evidently somewhat 
overstrained Bettina, in her letter of the 28th of May. 1810, 
puts into the mouth of Beethoven, cannot fail to set him 
down for a bel esprit and a most verbose talker, but very 
erronsDusly. Beethoven's mode of expressing and explain- 
ing himself, on all and every occasion, was, throughout his 
whole life, the simplest, shortest, and most concise, both in 
speaking and writing, as is everywhere proved by the latter. 
To listen to highly-polished and flowery phrases, or to read 
any thing written in that style, was disagreeable to him, 
being contrary to his nature ; still less was he himself an 
adept in it : in all respects simple, plain, without a trace 
of pompousness, such was Beethoven likewise in conver- 
sation. That he thought of his art in the way that Bettina 
describes ; that he recognized in it a higher revelation, and 
placed it above all wisdom and all philosophy, this was a 
theme on which he did, indeed, often speak, but always 
very briefly. With what respect he regarded, at the same 
time, other arts and sciences, all of which he held to be 
closely connected with his own art, is peculiarly worthy of 

How would Beethoven have been astonished at all the 
fine speeches which the sprightly Bettina puts into his 
mouth, which would be well enough in a poetical work 
on the master, but, given as a matter of fact, are indeed 
contrary to his whole nature ! He would undoubtedly say, 
" My dear Bettina, you, who have such a flow of words 
and ideas, must certainly have had a raptus when you wrote 
iu that manner to Gothe." * Beethoven's letters to Bettina 
also attest the simplicity and unaffectedness of his way of ex- 

* Bettina relates In her letter of the 28th of May, to Gothe, that she com- 
mitted to writing Beethoven's remarks on art, &c., which he made the day 
before in a walk with her, and that she gave him them to read; upon which h 
sked her, in astonishment, '' And did I indeed say all this ? Then I m i" 
certainly have had a rapt us I ' 


pressing himself.* A single example will suffice to show this : 
Beethoven writes in 1812 from Toplitz, in Bohemia, to her 
among others, " Kings and princes can, to be sure, make 
professors, privy councillors, &c., and confer titles and orders ; 
but they cannot make great men, minds which rise above 
the common herd ; f these they must not pretend to make, 
and therefore must these be held in honor. When two 
men such as Gothe and I come together, even the high and 
mighty perceive what is to be considered as great in men 
like us. Yesterday, on our way home, we met the whole 
imperial family. We saw them coming from a distance, 
and Gothe separated from me to stand aside : say what 
I would, I could not make him advance another step. I 
pressed my hat down upon my head, buttoned up my great 
coat, and walked with folded arms through the thickest of 
the throng. Princes and pages formed a line, the archduke 
Rudolph took off his hat, and the empress made the first 
salutation. Those gentry know me. I saw, to my real 
amusement, the procession file past Gothe. He stood aside, 
with his hat off, and bending lowly. I rallied him smartly 
for it ; I gave him no quarter ; flung in his face all his sins, 
and most of all, that against you, dearest Bettina : we had 
been just talking about you. Good God ! if it had been 
my lot to pass such a time with you as he did, depend upon 
it, I should have produced many, many more great works. 
A composer is a poet too : he, too, can feel himself suddenly 
transported by a couple of eyes into a fairer world, where 
greater geniuses make game of him, and set him exces- 
sively hard tasks." 

The results of the acquaintance with that interesting 
woman were, however, so important for Beethoven, that 
they might well excuse a whole volume of such inspired 

* The correspondence which passed between the composer and Madam* 
Bettina von Arnim may be thought hardly to bear out M. Schindler's opinion 
of Beethoven's style of expression. The reader, however, will be enabled to 
judge for himself, as he will find in the Supplement. No. III., a series of letters 
from one of which the passage here cited by the biographer is extracted. ED. 

t There is a remarkable coincidence, not only of sentiment but of expression 
between the above passage and one of the noblest songs of Barns, particalarl] 
Vh lines - 

" A prince can make a belted knight, 
A marquis, duke, and a' that, 
But an hoiu at man 'a aboon his might ." K0. 


effusions of his and concerning him. Through her Beet' 
hoven became acquainted with the house of Brenanto in 
Frankfort, in which he found a friend indeed. The follow- 
ing lines, addressed by Beethoven to me, in February, 1823, 
show in the clearest manner what the Brenanto family waa 
to him : " Try to find out some humane creature, who will 
lend me money upon a bank-share, that, in the first placf, 
I may not encroach too much on the liberality of my friend 
Brentano, and that by the delay of this money,* I may not 
get myself into distress, thanks to the notable measures 
and arrangements of my dearly beloved brother." 

It was Bettina, who, in like manner, paved the way to 
the personal acquaintance with Gothe, which actually took 
place in the summer of 1812, at Toplitz, as we have seen 
from Beethoven's letter quoted above : but, though Beet- 
hoven has praised Gothe's patience with him (on account 
of his deafness), still it is a fact, that the great poet and 
minister too soon forgot the great composer ; and when, in 
1823, he had it in his power to render him an essential ser- 
vice, with little trouble to himself, he did not even deign 
to reply to a very humble epistle from our master. That 
letter was forwarded to him at Weirnar, through the grand- 
ducal charge-d'affaires, and must, of course, have reached 
his hands. 

In the years 1811 and 1812, nothing occurred of partic- 
ular moment for the biographer of Beethoven. He lived 
in his usual way, in winter in the city, and in summer in 
the country, and adhered to his old custom of changing 
his place of abode as often in the twelvemonth as others do 
inns. and places of diversion. Hence it was no uncommon 
thing for him to have three or four lodgings to pay for at 
once. The motives for these frequent changes were in 
general trivial. In one lodging, for 1 instance, he had less 
sun than he wished ; and, if his landlord could not make 
that luminary shine longer into his apartment, Beethoven 
removed from it. In another, he disliked the water, which 
was a prime necessary for him ; anil, if nothing could be 
done to please him on this point, Beethoven was off again : 

* Beethoven here alludes to a small sum which he had to expect from abroad 


to say nothing of other insignificant causes, such as I shall 
have to illustrate by two comic anecdotes when I come to 
the years 1823 and 1824. In regard to his summer abodes, 
he was particularly whimsical. It was a usual thing with 
him to remove in May to some place or other on the north 
side of the city ; in July or August, to pack up all of a 
sudden, and go to the south side. It is easy to conceive 
how much unnecessary expense this mode of proceeding 
must have entailed. In his last years, Beethoven was so 
well known throughout the whole great city as a restless 
lodger, that it was difficult to find a suitable place of abode 
for him. At an earlier period, it was his friend Baron Pas- 
qualati who kept apartments in constant readiness for the 
tickle Beethoven : if he could not find any that he liked 
better, he returned, with bag and baggage, to the third or 
fourth floor at Pasqualati's, where, however, not a ray of 
sunshine was ever to be seen, because the house has a 
northern aspect. Beethoven, nevertheless, frequently re- 
sided there for a considerable time. 

In these three years of the second period, he labored as- 
siduously, and we see already one hundred of his works in 
the catalogue. The price of them increased from year to 
year, and in the like proportion increased Beethoven's 
necessities, whims, and eccentricities, or whatever you 
choose to call them. Large as were the sums that he 
earned, he had not laid by any thing ; nor did his brother 
Carl, who at that time had the entire management of all 
his affairs, strive to prevail upon him to do so. The first 
impulse to secure by economy a competence for the future 
was given by an excellent woman, whose name must not be 
omitted here : it was Madame Nanette Streicher (her maiden 
name was Stein), whose persuasions were beneficial to Beet- 
hoven in another point besides that just mentioned, inasmuch 
as they induced him again to mingle in society, though indeed 
but for a short time, after he had almost entirely withdrawn 
himself from it. Madame Streicher found Beethoven in the 
summer of 1813, in the most deplorable condition with re- 
ference to his personal and domestic comforts. He had 
neither a decent coat nor a whole shirt, and I must forbear 
to describe his condition such as it really was. Madame 


Streicher put his wardrobe and his domestic matters to 
rights, assisted by M. Andreas Streicher (a friend of Schil- 
le?s from his youth) ; and Beethoven complied with all her 
suggestions. He again took lodgings for the ensuing 
winter at Pasqualati's ; hired a man-servant, who was a 
tailor and had a wife, but she did not live in the house 
with him. This couple paid the greatest attention to Beet- 
hoven, who now found himself quite comfortable, and for 
the first time began to accustom himself to a regular way 
of life, that is to say, in so far as it was possible for him. 
While his attendant followed his business undisturbed in 
the ante-room, Beethoven produced, in the adjoining apart- 
ment, many of his immortal works ; for instance, the Symp- 
hony in A major,* the Battle-Symphony, the Cantata " Der 
glorreiche Augenblick " (the Glorious Moment), and several 
others. In this situation I will now leave him, and close 
the second period of his life, from the motley events of 
which the reader may, of himself, draw this conclusion, 
that, if the first period of Beethoven's life may be justly 
called his golden age, that which immediately followed it 
was not a silver age, but an age of brass. 



P A. R T I. 

Causes of Beethoven's Preceding Troubles. Performance of his "Battle ot 
Vittoria," for the Benefit of Disabled Soldiers. Dishonest Conduct of M 
Maelzel; its Effect on Beethoven. Commencement of the Author's Ac 
quaintance with him. Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied Sovereiynt 
at Vienna. Pitiful Conduct of Carl M. von Weber. Scotch Songs set to 
Music by Beethoven. Death of his Elder Brother. He undertakes the 
Guardianship of his Son, whom he adopts. Diminution of his Annuity by 
the Failure of Prince Lobkowitz. He commences Housekeeping. Law- 
suit with his Brother's Widow. Society for the Performance of Beethoven's 
Chamber Music, directed by Carl Czerny. Further Diminution of his Pen- 
sion. His Pupil, the Archduke Rudolph, nominated Archbishop of <H- 
miitz. Beethoven commences a grand Mass for his Installation. House- 
hold Troubles. Waltzes and Bagatelles. Straitened Finances. Ignoble 
Application of Musical MS. Performance of "The Ruins of Athens." 
The " Land-owner " and the "Brain-owner." Subscription of Sovereigns 
to Beethoven's new Mass. His Letter to Cherubini. 

THE various troubles which Beethoven had to encounter 
in the second period of his life, of which we have just been 
treating, originated, firstly, in disappointed love ; secondly, 
in his increasing deafness, for his right ear totally refused 
to perform its functions ; and, thirdly, in his inexperience 
in matters of business, for the just comprehension of which 
Nature had not endowed him with the requisite faculties. 
All the unpleasant things which had hitherto befallen him, 
to which belong the various collisions with his friends, were 
mere private matters, capable, indeed, of deeply affecting 
such a mind, but not of checking creative genius in its 
nights. Thus far he was a stranger to suits and courts of 
law. atte-mpts upon the productions of his mind, and public 


quarrels with utterly unprincipled men. All theso, and 
many other trials, awaited him in the period at which we 
have now arrived. They were not all of them provoked by 
him, but partly brought upon him by the pressure of cir- 
cumstances, partly by intriguing persons, who strove on 
every occasion to turn his inexperience to their own private 
advantage. From these contests sprang circumstances de- 
plorable for Beethoven, which had a most pernicious influ- 
ence on his creative genius, as well as upon his temper, as 
we shall have occasion to observe in the course of this third 
period of his life. 

The moment at which I have to resume the thread of his 
history, and to connect it with the preceding period, is that 
when Beethoven, in the autumn of 1813, was preparing for 
the performance of his " Battle of Vittoria," and his A ma- 
jor Symphony, both which works he had just completed. 
The performance of these, with some other pieces of his 
composition, took place on the 8th, and again on the 12th 
of December, in the same year, in the hall of the Univer- 
sity, for the benefit of the Austrian and Bavarian soldier? 
disabled in the battle of Hanau. A letter of thanks to al' 
the co-operators in those two concerts, written by Beetho- 
ven's own hand, and destined for insertion in " The Wienei 
Zeitung," lies before me, and possesses historical interest, 
Owing to the length of this document, I can only venture 
here to introduce a few extracts from it. After Beethoven 
has, at the opening of this address, expressed his thanks foi 
the assistance he has received, he proceeds thus : " It was a 
rare assemblage of eminent performers, each of whom was 
inspired solely by the idea of being able to contribute by 
his talents something towards the benefit of the country ; 
and who, without any order of precedence, co-operated, even 
in subordinate places, in the execution of the whole. . . . 
On me devolved the conduct of the whole, because the mu- 
sic was of my composition : had it been by any one else, I 
should have taken my place at the great drum, just as 
cheerfully as M. Hummel did ;* for we were all actuated 

* I must claim for my friend Meyerbeer the place here assigned to Hummel, 
who had to act in the cannonade ; and this I may the more firmly assert, as, the 
cymbals having been intrusted to me, Meyerbeer and I had to play from ODi 
ud the came part. ED. 


solely by the pure feeling of patriotism, and willingness to 
exert our abilities for those who had sacrificed so much for 
us." Respecting the composition of the orchestra, Beetho- 
ven expressly says, " M. Schuppanzigh was at the head of 
the first violins, M. Spohr and M. Mayseder co-operated in 
the second and third places ; M. Salieri, the chief kapell- 
meister, beat time to the drums and the cannonades ; and 
Messrs. Siboni and Giuliani were likewise stationed in sub- 
ordinate places." 

No sooner was this patriotic act accomplished than Beet- 
hoven returned to his accustomed occupation, not dreaming 
to what unheard-of results (results specially injurious to 
him) his latest work, " The Battle of Vittoria," would give 
occasion, and what treachery, on the part of a man whom 
he had always considered as his friend, would follow, nay, 
in a manner, spring out of, that solemn act. 

M. Maelzel, the mechanist, inventor of the musical me- 
tronome, was one of Beethoven's warmest friends and ad- 
herents. In the year 1812, M. Maelzel promised the great 
composer to make him an apparatus for assisting his hear- 
ing. To spur him on to the fulfilment of this promise, 
Beethoven composed a piece "Battle-Symphony" (so he 
calls it himself) for the panharmonicon, recently invent- 
ed by Maelzel. The effect of this piece was so unexpected, 
that Maelzel requested its author to arrange it for the or- 
chestra. Beethoven, who had long entertained the plan of 
writing a grand battle-syinphon} 7 , acceded to Maelzel's pro- 
posal, and immediately set about completing the work. By 
degrees, four acoustic Inachines were produced, but only 
one of which Beethoven found serviceable, and used for a 
considerable time, especially in his interviews with the 
Archduke Rudolph and others, when it would have been 
too tedious to keep up a conversation in writing. 

It was M. Maelzel who undertook the arrangement of the 
two concerts, above mentioned ; and, as this was no trifling 
job, Beethoven relinquished it to him without suspicion, 
occupied at home meanwhile with his composition. Hence 
it was, that, in the first public announcement, Maelzel pre 
Burned to proclaim this work of Beethoven's his own proper- 
ty, as having been presented to him by the author. Thii 


assertion was flatly contradicted by Beethoven, upon which 
Maelzel declared that he claimed this work in payment for 
the machines which he had furnished, and for a considerable 
sum of money lent. As, however, he adduced no evidence to 
this point, Beethoven regarded what had taken place as an 
unbecoming joke of his frien-d's, and suspected nothing 
worse, though from that time the behavior of this friend to 
Beethoven was beneath the dignity of an educated man. 

Immediately after the first of those concerts, Beethoven 
received intimation from several quarters that Maelzel was 
seeking ways and means to appropriate that new work to 
himself in an illicit manner, a thing which the master, 
however, held to be impossible, for he had never suffered 
the scores to go out of his possession, and began to keep a 
watchful eye on the individual parts for the orchestra. But 
this caution came rather too late ; for Maelzel had already 
found means to come at several of those parts, and to get 
them arranged in score. 

It may be asked what object Maelzel could have to carry 
his dishonesty to such a length ? He had projected a jour- 
ney to England, and meant to make money there, and like- 
wise on the road thither, with Beethoven's "Battle-Sym- 
phony." By way of excusing his conduct at Vienna, he 
scrupled not to declare loudly that Beethoven owed bin- 
four hundred ducats, and that he had been obliged to takt 
that work in payment. 

These scandalous proceedings were for a considerable 
time a subject of general reprobation, and afterwards for- 
gotten. In a few months, however, Maelzel set out for Eng- 
land ; and Beethoven presently received intelligence from 
Munich, that he had had the "Battle-Symphony" per- 
formed in that city, but in a mutilated shape, and that ho 
had given out that the work was his property. It was now 
high time for Beethoven to take legal steps against Mael- 
zel. From the deposition relative to that fact, which he 
delivered to his advocate, and which I possess in his own 
handwriting, I shall merely quote the following passage- 
"We agreed to give this work (the ' Battle-Symphony ; ), 
and several others of mine, in a concert for the benefit of 
the soldiers. While this matter was in progress, I was in- 


rolved in the greatest embarrassment for want of money. 
Abandoned by everybody here in Vienna, in expectation 
of a bill, &c., Maelzel offered to lend me fifty ducats in 
gold. I took them, and told him that I would return them 
to him here, or that he should have the work to take with 
him to London, if I should not accompany him ; and that, 
in this latter case, I would give him an order upon it to an 
English publisher, who should pay him those fifty ducats." 
I must further mention a declaration made in this matter 
by Baron Pasqualati, and Dr. von Adlersburg, advocate to 
the court, and an address of Beethoven's to the performers 
of London. From that declaration, dated Oct. 20, 1814, 
it appears that Beethoven had in no wise relinquished to 
Maelzel the copyright of that work ; and in the address to 
the performers of London, of the 25th of July, 1814, Beet- 
hoven adverts to the circumstance at Munich, and express- 
ly says, " The performance of these works (the ' Battle- 
Symphony ' and Wellington's ' Battle of Vittoria ' ) by M. 
jVIaelzel is an imposition upon the public, and a wrong done 
to me, inasmuch as he has obtained possession of them in a 
surreptitious manner." He further warns them against 
that " mutilated " work ; for it was ascertained that Mael- 
zel had not been able to get at all the orchestral parts, and 
had therefore employed some one to compose what was de- 

This disgraceful proceeding I have deemed it my duty 
to state here without reserve, as its effect, both on Beetho- 
ven's temper, and on his professional activity, was extremely 
injurious. It served, also, to increase his mistrust of those 
about him to such a degree, that, for a considerable time, it 
was impossible to hold intercourse with him. It was, more- 
over, owing to this cause, that, from this time forward, 

* I witnessed the origin and progress of this work, and remember that not 
only did Maelzel decidedly induce Beethoven to write it, but even laid before 
him the whole design of it ; himself wrote all the drum-marches and the trumpet- 
flourishes of the French and English armies; gave the composer some hints, 
how he should herald the English army by the tune of Rule Britannia; how he 
should introduce \falbrook in a dismal strain : how he should depict the horrors 
of the battle, and arrange God save the King, with effects representing the 
hurrahs of a multitude. Even the unhappy idea of converting the melodj 
of God save the King into a subject of a fugue in quick movement emanates 
from Mai-lzel. All this I saw in sketches and g"ore, brought by Beethoven to 
Ifaelzel's workshop, then the only suitable place of reception he was provided 
with. ED. 


Beethoven had most of his compositions copied at home, 
or, as this was not always practicable, that he was inces- 
santly overlooking his copyists, or setting others to overlook 
them ; for he considered them all as dishonest and open to 
bribery, of which, indeed, he had sufficient proofs. By that 
circumstance, of course, his suspicion on this point was kept 
continually awake ; and, after such an encroachment upon 
his property, who would imagine that Beethoven could 
ever allow this pseudo-friend to hold intercourse with him, 
though indeed only by letter ? This, nevertheless, was the 
case. When M. Maelzel was striving to bring his metro- 
nome into vogue, he applied, in preference, to Beethoven, 
at the same time intimating that he had then in hand an 
acoustic machine, by means of which the composer would 
be enabled to conduct his orchestra. Maelzel's letter on 
this subject, dated Paris, April 19, 1818, lies before rne, and 
communicates this intelligence. Nay, he even proposes in 
it that Beethoven should accompany him in a journey to 
England. Beethoven expressed his approbation of the 
metronome, in a letter to Maelzel ; but of the promised 
machine he never heard another syllable. 

I shall here take leave to state that it was in the year 
1814 that I first made Beethoven's personal acquaintance, 
which I had long been particularly desirous to do.* He 
was the man whom I worshipped like an idol, the composer 
all of whose works I heard, and even practised, during my 
studies at the Gymnasium of Olmiitz, and all the public 
performances of which I now, as a member of the Univer- 
sity of Vienna, made a point of attending. It was in the 
first months of 1814 that I found an opportunity to deliver, 
instead of another person, to Beethoven, who was then 
lodging in the house of Baron von Pasqualati, a note to 
which an immediate answer was required. He wrote an 
answer, asking, meanwhile, several questions ; and short as 
was this conversation, and though Beethoven took no 
further notice of the bearer of the note, who had scarcely 
arrived at manhood, my longing merely to hear the voice 

* 1 am proud to say, that I am four years in advance of my friend Schindler, 
having made Beethoven's much-desired acquaintance four years sooner. in 


f the man for whom I felt infinitely more esteem than foi 
Kant, and the whole corpus juris put together, was grati 
fied, and the acquaintance, subsequently so important and 
eventful to me, was made. It was, however, not till the 
beginning of the year 1816, that I met him almost daily at 
a particular hour at the Flowerpot Tavern, and thus came 
into closer contact with him. But if I followed him with 
my veneration before my personal acquaintance with him, 
after that I was bound to him as though by a spell. Noth- 
ing that concerned him now escaped me ; and, wherever 1 
merely conjectured him to be, there I insinuated myself, 
and always accosted him frankly : a hearty shake of the 
hand invariably told me that I was not troublesome to him. 
The principal object for meeting at the above-mentioned 
place, where M. Pinterics, a friend of Beethoven's, a man 
universally respected, and a captain in the emperor's Ger- 
man Guard, were our never-failing companions, was the 
reading of the newspapers, a daily necessity to Beethoven. 
From that place he frequently permitted me to attend him 
in his walks, a privilege which I accounted one of the 
greatest felicities of my life, and for which, though over- 
loaded with studies, I always contrived to find plenty of 
time. To render him service, whenever and wherever lie 
needed it, became from that moment, till his decease, my 
bounden dut}' ; and any commission that he gave me took 
precedence of every other engagement. 

In the year 1814, Beethoven lost his old patron, Prince 
Carl von Lichnc-wsky, who died on the 15th of April. 

The remarkable political epoch, when, in the autumn of 
1814; the allied sovereigns, and many other distinguished 
personages from the confederate states of Europe, met in 
congress at Vienna, was likewise of importance and of pecu- 
niary benefit to Beethoven. He was requested by the 
magistracy of the city of Vienna to set to music, as a can- 
tata, a poem, by Dr. Weissenbach of Salzburg, the purport 
of which was to welcome the illustrious visitors on their 
arrival within the walls of ancient Vindobona. It is the 
Cantata "Der glorreiche Augenblick" ("The Glorious 
Moment "), which has but very recently been published, 
with a different text, by the title of " Preis der Tonkunst " 


("Praise of Music "). That this is one of the least merito- 
rious of Beethoven's works, every one must admit : he him- 
self attached no value to it, though it procured him the 
diploma of citizenship of Vienna. As reasons for the infe- 
riority of this composition may be assigned the very short 
time allowed him for the work, and the " barbarous text," 
from which his imagination could not derive a single spark 
of inspiration.* With respect to the latter, several curious 
scenes took place with the author, who was so hampered 
by the composer, that at last he was glad to relinquish the 
task of polishing to another. This cantata was performed, 
together with the " Battle of Vittoria," and the " A major 
Symphony," on the 29th of November, in the presence of 
the foreign sovereigns, some of whom made handsome 
presents to the composer. 

Those memorable winter months at the end of 1814, and 
the commencement of 1815. were important to Beethoven 
in another respect. Numbers of the distinguished foreign 
visitors thronged to him to pay him their homage ; and it 
was more especially at the parties of the Russian ambassa- 
dor, Prince Rasumowsky, that the sovereign of the realm 
of harmony was accustomed to receive this. It is well 
known that the testimonies of warm esteem paid to Beet- 
hoven in the apartments of the Archduke Rudolph, by the 
highest personages who sought him there, were equally 
cordial and affecting. An interview of this kind with the 
Empress of Russia was particularly interesting, and Beet- 
hoven could not call it to mind without emotion. He used 
afterwards .to relate, jocosely, how he had suffered the 
crowned heads to pay court to him, and what an air of im- 
portance he had at such times assumed. How differently, 

* This work may not, perhaps, rank equally high with some of Boethoven'i 
moat sublime productions ; yet it speaks hia language, and has all the charmi 
so peculiar to himself, particularly in the choral parts. It consists of, 

No. 1. Chorus. 

2. Recitativo and Chorus. 

3. Grand Scena, Soprano, with violin obligate and Chorus. 

4. Solo, Soprano and Chorus. 

5. Recitativo and Quartette, two Soprani, Tenor and Baas. 

6. Chorus and Fugue. 

The original scare of this work, with copies of both texts, has been intrusted to 
me byM. Hasliuger of Vienna; and I am still in possession of it, In case 
tollable opportunity for iU performance should present iuelf. ED. 


las ! did he fare ten years later. It was a new world, as 
it were, in which we all lived ten years afterwards in Vienna, 
where but one name the name of Rossini was destined 
to he thought of any value. 

These extraordinary tokens of favor, conferred about that 
time on our Beethoven, made no change whatever in him : 
he continued to be just what he was before, Beethoven. 
In the spring of 1815, he gave several public performances 
of his" A major Symphony," which had puzzled certain 
reviewers abroad as well as at home, to such a degree, that 
some of them went so far as to declare that " the extrava- 
gances of his genius had reached the ne plus ultra, and 
that Beethoven was now quite ripe for the mad-house." 
Oh, the pitiful creatures ! It is much to be regretted that 
there should have been among them professional men, who 
sought in every possible way to mortify Beethoven, who 
themselves would fain have scaled Parnassus by force, and 
had scarcely ascended a few steps before they were seized 
with dizziness, and tumbled backward to the bottom. 
One of these egotists, after a fall of this kind, cringed and 
bowed down to the very dust before Beethoven, beseeching 
that he would assist him to rise again ; but it was too late.* 

* It was M. Carl Maria von Weber, who. after the failure * (see p. 164) of hl 
Opera Euryanthe (1823). brought the score of that work, with the most pro- 
found humility, to Beethoven, requesting him to make what alterations he 

* It is with reluctance that I comment upon the word "failure" applied by M. 
Schiudler to the " Euryanthe" of Weber, which was performed in November, 1823. 
But I was present at the first performance of this Opera, which the composer con- 
ducted, and the following pieces were encored : The Overture, the 1st tenor air 
sung by (Haitzlnger), the Finale tothelstact, sungbv Euryanthe (Mile. Son- 
tag), the principal pieces by Mad. Grunbaum (Eglantine), and Forti ( Lysiard). The 
Huntsmen's, as well as several other choruses, were most enthusiastically received; 
and the composer was called for at the end of the Opera, with every testimony of ap- 
probation. The evening was wound up by a convivial supper, given by a literary 
and artistical society called the Ludlam's Hohle, at which, together with Weber's 
pupil. 51. Benedict, I had the pleasure of assisting, in conclusion of a triumphant 

I do not, of course, intend to throw any doubt upon the circumstance here stated. 
of Weber having shown the score of Euryanthe to Beethoven ; yet there seems 10 be 
some doubt as to Weber not having been on good terms with Beethoven, the more sc 
when Rellstab's accounts are taken into consideration. 

I make some extracts from the Memoirs of this much-esteemed writer and critic 
lie says (March 24, 1825), "My journey to Vienna had been decided upon .... 
'et, of all the fair promises the imperial city held out to me, there was none so exciting 
or so spirit-stirring as the supreme felicity which I felt at the thoughts of becoming ac- 
quainted with Beethoven." 

Kellstab, on his way to Vienna, calls upon C. M. von Weber at Dresden, and, o 
asking him for a letter of introduction to Beethoven, receives the following reply: 
" Beethoven does not like epistolary communication, and thinks it quite as irksomt 
to read a to write letters, but you may bring him all sorts of kind and respectful me* 
iagr from me verbally ; to judge from the kind reception he gave me during my U' 


From this brief intimation, the reader may infer, that, 
notwithstanding the gigantic greatness to which Beethoven 
had then attained, he was pursued by envy and hatred, 
though he turned out of every one's way, and ceased to 
hold intercourse with any of his professional brethren. He 
perceived but too clearly that all these gentry felt humbled 
and uncomfortable in his presence. Even M. Kanne, with 
whom he had most associated in early years, and to whose 
eminent talents he always paid the highest respect, wa 
not oftener than twice or three times a year in his com- 

In the summer of 1815, Beethoven occupied himself ex- 
clusively with the composition, or instrumentation, of the 
" Scotch Songs," for Mr. George Thompson of Edinburgh, 
the collector of national songs, who paid him a consider- 
able sum for the work, as is evident from the corre- 
spondence. How many of these Scotch songs Beethoven 
set to music, it was not possible for me to ascertain ; but 
I believe that not near all of them have been published. 

In the autumn of 1815, died his elder brother Carl, who 

pleased in it, and promising to submit entirely to his opinion. Beethoven, well 
knowing what acrimonious reviews of some of his works M. von Weber had 
sent from Prague to German journals, received him in the most friendly man- 
ner; and. after looking over the score, said to him. in my presence, that he 
ought to have made this application before the performance of his Opera, but 
that now he thought it too late, unless M. von Weber would undertake such a 
reform with it as he (Beethoven) did with his Fidelio. 

It is interesting to see, for example, in the first version of the Opera Fidelio, 
how the master has composed several numbers twice and even four times. 
These casts, always of the same text, frequently differ very essentially from one 
another. Upon the whole, the first score of Fidelio, with the numerous varia- 
tions, frequent improvements in the rhythm, in the instrumentation, and in the 
invention of the melody, affords manifest truth of the extreme severity which 
the great master was accustomed to exercise in the correction of all his works ; 
hence it would form an admirable study for young composers, and would de- 
serve a place in a public library, whore it would be accessible to everybody. 

Hay at Vienna, in 1823, 1 should suppose he would remember me with every feeling of 
iiympathy and attachment." Weber then proceeded to give me an account of his last 
visit to Beethoven, to which, of course, I listened with the greatest eagerness. "We 
bid been to him several times," said he, "without having once been able to see him; 
he was out of humor, and shunning all human society, yet we at length succeeded in 
finding the propitious moment; we were shown in, and beheld him sitting at his 
writing-table, from which he did not, however, rise at once to give us a friendly wel- 
come. He had known me for several years, so that I could at once enter into conver- 
sation with him, but suddenly he started un, stood upright before me, and, putting his 
two hands on my shoulders, he shook me with a kind of rough cordiality, saying, 
Yon have always been a fine fellow ! ' And with this he embraced me in the kindest 
and most affectionate manner. 

" Of all the marks of distinction then shown to me at Vienna, of all (he praise and 
fame I there earned, nothing ever touched my heart as much a this fraternal UM 
of Beethoven's." ED. 


held the office of cashier in the national bank of Austria. 
With the death of this brother commenced a new epoch fof 
our Beethoven, an epoch of incidents and facts difficult 
to relate ; and could I here lay down my pen, and leave 
the continuation of my work to another, I should feel 
myself truly happy. Here begins a most painful situation 
for the biographer who adopts this motto : " Do justice to 
the dead, and spare the living ; with the former fulfil the 
desire of the deceased ; with the latter, do the duty of the 
Christian, and leave Him who is above to judge." 

To evade this dilemma is utterly impossible : it would be 
the same thing as to close here at once the biography 
of Beethoven, which the whole musical world desires to 
have as complete as possible, and which from this time 
acquires a higher interest; for not only is Beethoven 
brought, for the first time, by a conflict of circumstances, 
into closer contact with civil life, and binds up the rod for 
scourging his own back, but, through these new conflicts, 
the moral man Beethoven first gains occasion to show him- 
self in all his energy, and even momentarily to outweigh 
the creative genius. 

The value of that brother Carl, while living, to Beetho- 
ven, we have several times had occasion to show. Whether 
it might not have been desirable for his creative genius, as 
well as for his peace with the world, that this brother had 
died many years earlier, I will not pretend to decide, but 
shall merely assert, that he ought not, on many accounts, 
to have died before Beethoven, as he left him burdens that 
could not fail to crush him but too speedily. In his will, 
dated Nov. 14, 1815, Carl von Beethoven begged hia 
brother Ludwig to take upon himself the guardianship 
of the son whom he left behind. How our Beethoven ful- 
filled this request will be shown in the sequel. 

In a letter of the 22d of November, 1815,* to M. Eies, 
Beethoven himself mentions the death of this b-.dther, 
adding, " and I cannot estimate what I have given him to 
reader his life more comfortable at less than ten thousand 
florins " (10,000 francs), by which Beethoven cannot possi- 

Bee Supplement, No. V11I. 


bly mean all that he had given to his brother during hia 
whole life, for that he was himself least capable of calcu- 
lating. In the same letter he says, " He " (namely, hia 
deceased brother), " had a bad wife ; " and if he had added, 
" both had a son who is now to be my son," he would have 
comprehended in one sentence the sources of the severest 
affliction of his future life. 

At the death of his father, Beethoven's nephew was about 
3ight years old, a handsome boy, the quality of whose 
tnind also authorized great hopes. Perceiving this, and 
considering, on the other hand, what would become of him 
if he continued with his mother, he resolved to adopt him 
as his son.* But as the boy's mother protested against 
this, while Beethoven persevered in his resolution, sup- 
porting himself upon the last will of his brother, the matter 
led to a lawsuit, the proceedings in which were commenced 
by the widow. 

Before I continue the narrative of this unhappy transac- 
tion, it is necessary to mention another unpleasant circum- 
stance relating to our master. Precisely at the time when 
Beethoven's young nephew became the bone of contention 
between his mother and his uncle, the interests of music in 
Vienna suffered severely through the failure of Prince 
Lobkowitz. This nobleman, who had become lessee of the 
Imperial Court Theatre, not for the sake of lucre, but out 
of genuine love to the arts, carried his zeal for all that is 
sublime and beautiful too far, and was obliged suddenly to 
stop. Owing to this circumstance, Beethoven lost the por- 
tion contributed by the prince to the pension settled upon 
him in 1809 ; and, as for any restitution, that was wholly 
out the question. Thus we see that the amount of that 
pension, reduced to one-fifth by the finance-patent in 1811, 
was now still further diminished. 

At the time when the suit in question commenced (1816), 
Beethoven was engaged in setting up a household establish- 
ment of his own, which appeared to him to be indispensa- 
bly necessary if be meant to keep his nephew, unassailed 

* But not ' tacitly," as M. von Seyfried asserts at p. 12 of his Biographies 
Particulars. In Austria, there ia no such thing as a tacit adoption : every adop 
tiou requires a legal confirmation in order to be valid. 


by the world, under his own care. Upon this prosaic busi- 
ness, so incongruous with all his habits, he fell to work, aa 
he did upon every thing else, earnestly and zealously. By 
way of intermezzo, I shall just introduce a little specimen 
of the manner in which he set about it. He seems to have 
made his first inquiries of a person conversant with house- 
keeping : a paper, containing on the left Beethoven's ques- 
tions, and on the right the answers to them, written in 
masculine hand, is an interesting document of his spirit of 
enterprise. He asks, for instance : 

" 1. What is a proper allowance for two servants for dinner and 
supper, both as to quality and quantity ? " 

On the right-hand side is given the answer, in most mi- 
lute detail. 

" 2. How often should one give them meat ? Ought they to 

have it both at dinner and supper ? 
" 8. Do ihe servants take their meals off the victuals cooked for 

the master, or have they their own separately : that is, 

have they ditferent victuals from what the master has ? 
" 4. How many pounds of butchers' meat are allowed for three 

persons ? " 

In this way the new housekeeper proceeds, and we dis- 
cover in it a pleasing proof of his humanity. 

The suit between Beethoven and his sister-in-law was 
carried before the court of nobles, the Landrecht of Lower 
Austria. The complaint was heard, and the proceedings 
were continued for a considerable time. The notion that 
the van prefixed to Beethoven's name was, like the German 
von, an indication of noble birth, seems to have been cur- 
rent in Austria from ancient times : the court, therefore, 
required no further evidence on that point. This suit did 
not hinge upon a point of law, a matter of meum and tuum ; 
but Beethoven had to prove that his sister-in-law was an 
immoral woman, and consequently unfit to bring up her 
son. From the preceding part of this biography, we have 
learned sufficient of his moral character, and likewise of hia 
temper, to conceive how painful was the task which the ne- 
cessity of furnishing evidence to this effect imposed on our 
Beethoven, upon him to whom any thing doubtful and 


equivocal in morals and character was so disgusting in ax.j 
person that he could not bear to hear that person men- 
tioned, and still less suffer him to come near him ; and now, 
in order to rescue a child from certain perdition, to be com- 
pelled to expose in a court of justice the life led by one so 
nearly related to himself ! The agitation in which he was 
kept for a long time by this circumstance deprived him of 
all equanimity ; and had he not been absolutely forced to 
work, in order to support himself and his nephew, who had 
been provisionally given up to him on the part of the court, 
we should not have seen one great work produced by him 
during that inauspicious period ; for even the Eighth Sym- 
phony, which was performed for the first time in 1817, was 
fortunately conceived and partly composed before the com- 
mencement of that lawsuit. 

In the course of the legal proceedings, which had already 
lasted a considerable time, it was intimated to the court 
that the word van, of Dutch origin, does not ennoble the 
family to whose name it is prefixed, according to the laws 
of Holland; that in the Province of the Rhine, in which 
Beethoven was born, it was held to be of no higher value ; 
that, consequently, the halo of nobility ought to be stripped 
from this van in Austria also. Beethoven was accordingly 
required to produce proofs of his nobility. " My nobility," 
he exclaimed, with emphasis, " is here and here ! " pointing 
to his breast and his head : but the court refused to allow 
the validity of the claim, and transferred the acts to the 
city magistracy of Vienna, as the proper court for common- 
ers, after it had, however, by decision in the first instance, 
already acknowledged Beethoven's guardianship over his 

This procedure, the transfer of the acts to the civil tri- 
bunal, though perfectly according to law, drove Beethoven 
beside himself; for he considered it as the grossest insult 
that he had ever received, and as an unjustifiable deprecia- 
tion and humiliation of the artist, an impression too deep 
to be ever erased from his mind. But for his advocate,* 

* This was Dr. Bach, senior court-advocate and sworn notary .who has fo 
the third time been elected Dean of the Faculty of the Law in the University o! 


who strove, with the affection of a friend, to allay his re- 
sentment on account of a resolution in exact accordance 
with the law, Beethoven would have quitted the country. 

Just at the moment when the deeply-mortified master 
was indulging the hope that this suit, which had already 
lasted for some years, and occasioned him so much vexation 
and loss of time (during which time his nephew had been 
passed from hand to hand, and the system of instruction 
and education "been changed as often as his coat), would 
soon be definitely terminated, the magistracy of Vienna re- 
versed the decision of the tribunal of the nobles, and ap- 
pointed Beethoven's sister-in-law guardian of her son. The 
consequence was, that the suit was commenced afresh ; and 
it was only after repeated unpleasant discussions, and 
through the indefatigable exertions of his advocate, that it 
was brought to a close in the year 1820 ; the Court of Ap- 
peal having confirmed the first decision of the Landrecht 
of Lower Austria. From Beethoven's memorial to the 
Court of Appeal, dated Jan. 7, 1820, which was written by 
himself, and the original of which lies before me,* I extract 
the following characteristic passage : 

"My wishes and my efforts have no other aim than that 
the boy may receive the best possible education, as his ca- 
pacity authorizes the indulgence of the fairest hopes, and 
that the expectation which his father built upon my frater- 
nal love may be fulfilled. The shoot is still flexible ; but, 
if more time be wasted, it will grow crooked for want of the 
training hand of the gardener, and rpright bearing, intel- 
lect, and character will be lost forever. I know not a more 
sacred duty than the superintendence of the education, and 
formation of a child. The duty of guardianship can only 
consist in this, to appreciate what is good, and to take 
such measures as are conformable with the object in view; 
then only has it devoted its zealous attention to the welfare 
of its ward ; but, in obstructing what is good, it has ever 
neglected its duty." 

* For this interesting document I am indebted to my esteemed friend, Dr 
Bach. In hia letter of the 9th of June, 1839, when he sent it to me, he expresset 
this wish : " Not a trait of that great soul ought to be lost, because it proves, that, 
with an inexhaustible genius, a noble spirit may be combined." He will per 
ceive how strictly and how faithfully I have endeavored in this work to oomplj 
with hia wi*hea and the express desire of oar mutual friend. 


Amidst these troubles, Beethoven needed other support- 
ers besides his friend and legal adviser, Dr. Bach, to cheer 
him up and to keep him from sinking under them. These 
tried friends were too much concerned with his professional 
pursuits, as well as with the transactions of his life, not to 
be named here. They are M. C. Bernard, the esteemed 
poet, and editor of the "Wiener Zeitung; " M. Peters, coun- 
sel to Prince Lobkowitz; and M. Olivia, at present professor 
of German literature in St. Petersburg. It was the second 
whom the Court of Appeal appointed co-guardian with 
Beethoven, at the special desire of the latter, on the ground 
of his deafness. 

As it has been already observed, the boy, the object of 
this long dispute, had, during the course of it, frequently to 
change his home, studies, and whole plan of education. 
Sometimes he was with his uncle, sometimes with his 
mother, and at others again at some school. But, notwith- 
standing this incessant change, his progress in music and 
in the sciences, especially in philology, was fully adequate 
to his capacity ; and thus it seemed as though Beethoven 
would one day receive well-merited thanks, and that he 
would have joy, nothing but joy, over his nephew, in return 
for the inexpressible afflictions and mortifications which he 
had iindergone during this suit of four years' continuance, 
and for the unexampled affection, care, nay, even sacrifices, 
with which he prosecuted his education. Whether this 
prospect was realized, whether his hopes were accomplished, 
we shall see hereafter. 

Before I again take up the thread of events in Beet- 
hoven's life, I think this may not be an unfit place for a 
cursory notice of the proceedings of a small association, 
composed of professional men and accomplished amateurs, 
which, though it was not intimately connected with the 
events of Beethoven's life, and neither had, nor could have, 
any influence upon them, yet furnishes occasion for show- 
ing in what favor and honor Beethoven's compositions, 
especially the chamber music, that really inexhaustible mine 
of the profoundest and most expressive musical poetry, was 
held by the better portion of the Vienna dilettanti and per- 
formers. The task undertaken by this modest society wai 


to execute classic music in the chamber style, and Beet- 
hoven's in preference, before a small circle of auditors, capa- 
ble of relishing its beauties. M. Carl Czerny gave the 
impulse to this society, so worthy of record in the history 
of the art, and was upon the whole its guiding principla 
The meetings were held at his residence, in the forenoon of 
every Sunday, and were continued with gradually increas- 
ing interest for three successive winters. It was another 
sort of divine worship, to which every one, without excep- 
tion and without announcement, had free access. To the 
peculiar gratification of M. Czerny, Beethoven previously 
went through several of his greatest works with him, and 
frequently attended the performance at his side ; and his 
presence had the affect of heightening the interest felt by 
all the members of the society to the warmest enthusiasm. 
At the piano-forte, M. Czerny had worthy assistants in the 
accomplished Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann (to whom 
Beethoven dedicated his Sonata, Op. 101), and in Messrs. 
Steiner, Von Felsburg, and Pfaller, in the civil service of 
the imperial government. The concourse to this musical 
stoa, where every one might make himself acquainted with 
all that was most sublime, or at least acquire clearer con- 
ceptions of it, was always extraordinary ; and kindred 
spirits there found opportunity for learning to know and 
to esteem each other. All foreign professional men and 
connoisseurs, who in their own countries could gain but 
obscure notions of the spirit of Beethoven's music, here 
found themselves at the fountain-head of the purest poesy, 
which never flowed so clear and so brilliant since those 
memorable parties at Prince Lichnowsky's (of which men- 
tion has been made in the First Period), and perhaps never 
may again in that place where this gigantic genius, so far 
in advance of his age, lived and wrought. For, indeed, so 
totally is every thing, both in prose and poetry, changed 
there since his time, that this master-mind is almost a 
stranger in his earthly home. The doors of that memora- 
ble school, which powerfully elevated the mind and heart 
of all who frequented it, closed at the end of the third 
winter course forever, because M. C/erny began thence- 
forward to devote himself to composition ; and, with the 


opening of the Italian opera, which speedily followed, al 
incitement to the cultivation of Beethoven's piano-forte 
music ceased. Thus it would be very likely that foreigners 
might now in vain seek an opportunity to hear a sonata of 
Beethoven's in Vienna ; for the banners of the present day 
ire no longer inscribed with his immortal name. 

The next event directly affecting Beethoven, before the 
suit with his sister-in-law was quite over, and requiring to 
be recorded here, is the death of Prince Kinsky, whose 
heirs refused to pay the stipulated portion of the pension 
granted in 1809. The matter was accordingly brought 
into court ; and Beethoven was more fortunate in this in- 
stance than he had been with regard to the share of Prince 
Lobkowitz. He recovered rather more than three hundred 
florins; so that, with the six hundred contributed by the 
Archduke Rudolph, he received thenceforward a yearly 
pension of nine hundred florins (about six hundred rix- 
dollars), which he enjoyed without further diminution as 
long as he lived.* 

The nomination of his most illustrious pupil, the arch- 
duke just mentioned, whom he had raised to a high degree 
of proficiency, and who was the only one of his scholars 
that Beethoven had at the same time instructed in the 
theory of harmony, the nomination of this accomplished 
prince to be Archbishop of Olmiitz brought back our master 
to that branch of music which is the most sublime and 
likewise the most difficult, and for which, together with the 
symphony, he had the greatest predilection, as he frequently 
declared. He resolved, namely, to write a grand mass for 
the installation of the archduke in his archiepiscopal see, 
which was fixed for the 9th of March, 1820. It was in the 
winter of 1818-19, that he set about this new work; the 
first movement of which, however, was of such vast dimen- 
sions, that it was impossible to calculate what time it would 
t\ke to complete the work upon the same scale. It is 
necessary here to observe that, in those years, Beethoven, 

* It was only three years before his death, that Mozart obtained an allow- 
ance of eight hundred florins, which was paid out of the privy purse of the 
Emperor Joseph, whose favorite he. moreover, was. We see how nearly alik 
treia the foil ones of those two great geniuses in this particular. 


iu spite of the troubles which he had uudergoiie, enjoyed 
excellent health. At the very commencement of this new 
labor, he seemed to be quite a different man. The change 
was more particularly noticed by his earlier friends ; and 
I must confess, that never, before or since that time, have I 
seen Beethoven in such a state of absolute abstraction from 
the world as was the case, more especially in the year 1819. 
Nay, were I not already past the age of forty, and had to 
judge of that state of mind and soul of my noble friend 
with the understanding of a youth of twenty, I should 
have many anecdotes of that remarkable period to relate, 
as another has done of earlier years, but which, after all, 
are but anecdotes, and ought no more to have been brought 
before a public forum than the table-talk of Martin Luther 
should have been.* 

In the year 1819, while engaged in the composition of 
his second mass, Beethoven was truly the boisterous, 
heaven-storming giant, and more particularly in the autumn, 
when he wrote the " Credo," with the exceedingly difficult 
fugue. He lived at that time at Mb'dling, in the Hafner 
House as it is called, where I paid him frequent visits, and 
witnessed most extraordinary incidents, many of them aris- 
ing from the mismanagement of his domestic affairs ; for 
he had continued to keep house ever since 1816, though his 
nephew was at an academy, and he, of course, quite alone. 
To enable the reader to form a clear conception of his 
domestic life at that period, and thence to draw the con- 
clusion under what a yoke, imposed in a great measure by 
himself, this man sighed and suffered, and in what a state 
of constant irritation his temper was kept by it, I need but 
lay before him a short extract from his journal, which, for 
a period of several years, I possess in his own handwrit- 


"31st January. Given warning to the housekeeper. 
" 15th February. The kitchen-maid came. 

* This axiom, which may no doubt find numerous champions to defend It, 
is not one that I could subscribe to ; and I hope the reader miy not considei 
the selection of anecdotes from Seyfried, Ries, and Wegeler, which I have mada 
In Supplement Nos. X. and XI., an unwelcome addition to M. Schindler'i 
work. ED. 


" 8th March. The kitchen-maid gave a fortnight's warning. 
" 22d of this month, the new housekeeper came. 
' 1 2th May. Arrived at Modling. 

" Miser et pauper sum. 
"14th Maj. The housemaid 

came; to have six florins pei 

" 20th July. Given warning to the housekeeper. 

" 1820. 

" 17th April. The kitchen-maid came. A bad day. (Thii 
means that he had nothing to eat, because all the victuals were 
spoiled through long waiting.) 

" 16th May. Given warning to the kitchen-maid. 

" 19th. The kitchen-maid left 

" 30th. The woman came. 

" 1st July. The kitchen-maid arrived. 

" 28th. At night, the kitchen-maid ran away. 

" 80th. The woman from Unter-Dobling came. 

" The four bad days, 10th, llth, 12th, and 18th August Dined 
at Lerchenfeld. 

" 28th. The woman's month expires. 

" 6th September. The girl came. 

" 22d October. The girl left. 

" 12th December. The kitchen-maid came. 

" 18th. Given warning to the kitchen-maid. 

" 27th. The new housemaid came." 

But enough of this lamentable spectacle of domestic con- 
fusion ! and enough, too, of matter for incessant vexation 
for the master of a house, who concerns or is obliged to con- 
cern himself about such details. But such was Beethoven's 
domestic state, with very little alteration, till his death. The 
impossibility of making himself understood by his servants 
was the principal cause of the incessant changes, by which, 
it is true, nothing whatever was gained. 

Let us now iurn from the prosaic to the poetical side of 
his life. 

At the time when the Archduke Rudolph was preparing 
for his journey to Olmiltz, the mass destined for the cere- 
mony of his installation was scarcely one-third finished ; 
which, taking into account the time usually occupied by 
him in correcting eacb of his great works, was as much as 
to say that the first movement was not yet completed. And 


to state here at once when Beethoven gave the last finish 
to this his greatest work, I may add that it was not till the 
summer of 1822 at Baden (near Vienna), after he had been 
laboring more than three years at this gigantic perform- 
ance. Thus the mass was finished only two years too late 
for its original destination. 

In the winter mouths of 1821-22, Beethoven wrote the 
three piano-forte sonatas, Op. 109, 110, and 111. The 
Grand Sonata in B major, Op. 106, he wrote during the suit 
with his sister-in-law. In the summer of 1819, just at the 
time when he was engaged in the composition of the "Cre- 
do," he complied also with the urgent solicitations of a mu- 
sical society consisting of seven members, who were then 
accustomed to play at the tavern-balls, in the Briel, near 
Modling, and composed some waltzes for them, and even 
wrote out the parts. On account of the striking contrast 
displayed by that genius, which could move at one and the 
same time in the highest regions of musical poetry and in 
the ball-room, I made inquiry some years afterwards, when 
the master had once mentioned the circumstance, after this 
light-winged progeny ; but the society in question was then 
broken up, and thus my search proved fruitless. Beetho- 
ven, too, had lost the score of these waltzes. While he was 
engaged in the composition of the Grand Mass, I do not 
recollect his having written any thing further than a few 
numbers of bagatelles. Mr. P., the publisher of Leipzig, 
for whom they were destined, wrote to him after he had re- 
ceived them, intimating that he did not consider them 
worth the price agreed upon (ten ducats, I believe), and 
added the remark, that Beethoven ought to deem it beneath 
him to waste his time on trifles such as anybody might 
produce. Would that Mr. P. could have witnessed the 
effect of this well-meant lecture on the outrageous com- 
poser ! It was, nevertheless, a salutary lecture, and cam 
just at the right time ; for the great master took pleasure 
in such relaxations of his powers (which at that time, it ia 
true, he needed), and had written many more bagatelles of 
the same kind. Dormitat aliquando Homerus. 

From the foregoing particulars, the reader may infer that 
fche price of the four last-mentioned sonatas and his pensioi 


constituted the whole of Beethoven's income from the yeai 
1818 to 1822, just at a time when he had a considerable 
annual sum to pay for the education of his nephew, and when 
the preceding years of dearth had an injurious influence 
upon him. The state of his finances may he more clearly 
seen from the letters addressed to M. Ries, which, however 
(especially those written in 1819 and 1820), ought not to 
have been exposed to the public eye, but should have been 
suppressed by his friends Wegeler and Ries ; * for the 
tenor of those letters would lead one to suppose, either that 
Beethoven was almost starving, or that, like the modern 
composers, he had written notes solely for money.t This, 
however, was not the case ; though it is a fact, that his in- 
come during that period was far from covering his expenses. 
It was not until 1825 that the mass was sold to a publisher. 
It was consequently in the years 1820 and 1821 that Beet- 
hoven suffered real want, as he was determined not to add 
any new debts to those which he had previously incurred. 
And yet, if the truth must be told, the privations which he 
suffered were voluntary ; for he was in possession of some 
bank-shares, which might have placed him above any want, 
if he had chosen to dispose of them. When, therefore, we 
hear that those four days marked in his journal for 1820 as 
" bad days " were such, when, quite destitute of money, he 
was obliged to make his dinner of a few biscuits and u glass 
of beer, as I have heard from his own lips, I, for my part, 
am disposed to seek in that fact the origin of his subsequent 
parsimony, which served only to enrich an unworthy, laugh- 
ing heir ; but more upon this subject in the proper place. 

Of the year 1821, there is nothing particular to relate, ex- 
cepting an anecdote characteristic of his household system : 
it went on in its usual way. In the spring of that year, he 
again removed with bag and baggage to Dobling. On ar- 
ranging his musical matters there, he missed the score of 
the first movement ("Kyrie") of his Grand Mass. All 
search for it proved vain ; and Beethoven was irritated to 

* At the solicitation of M. Ries, I informed him, in 1833, of the cause of th 
evidently exaggerated complaints made in those letters : he ought, of course, to 
have felt the more scrupulous in publishing them. 

t As these letters have already met the public eye elsewhere, they could not 
here be withheld, and will be found in the Supplement, No. VTI. KD, 


the highest degree at the loss, which was irreparable, when 
lo! several clays afterwards, the whole "Kyrie" was found, 
but in what condition ! The large sheets, which looked just 
like waste-paper, seemed to the old housekeeper the very 
thing for wrapping up boots, shoes, and kitchen utensils, 
for which purpose she had torn most of them in half. 
When Beethoven saw the treatment to which this produc- 
tion of his genius had been subjected, he could not refrain 
from laughing at this droll scene, after a short gust of pas- 
sion, and after the sheets had been cleaned from all the 
soils contracted in such unseemly company. 

The 3d of October, 1822, the name-day* of the Em- 
peror Francis, was fixed for the opening of the new thea- 
tre in the Josephstadt ; on which occasion, the music to "Die 
Ruinen von Athen" ("The Ruins of Athens "),f which 
Beethoven wrote in 1812, for the opening of the new thea- 
tre in Pesth, with a new text adapted to time and place, by 
Carl Meisel, several new pieces, and a new overture, was to 
be performed. 

In the month of July, Beethoven set about this new 
work; but that summer, which he passed in Baden, was 
remarkably hot, and therefore he liked to seek the shade 
of the neighboring woods, rather than to swelter in the 
house. It was not till the hottest part of the season was 
over, and then the day fixed for the opening was not far 
distant, that he fell to work in good earnest ; and I recol- 
lect well, that the ballet-master was put to a pinch about a 
new-composed chorus with a dance. He was in urgent 
want of the music for rehearsal ; but Beethoven would not 
part with it, because he had not done filing and polishing. 
Thus it was not till the afternoon of the day when the first 
performance was to take place, that the orchestra, collected 
at random from all quarters, received the extremely difficult 
overture in C major, with the double fugue, arid that, more- 
over, with a thousand metrical errors. On the evening of 
the solemn opening, when, for want of the necessary re- 
hearsals, not a single member of the orchestra was ac- 

* The saint's day, which, in Catholic countries, in celebrated like the blrtb 
lay. Eo. 

i By Aug. von Kotzebne. 


quainted with his part, Beethoveii was seated at the piano, 
having at his side the music-director, Franz Glaser, as as- 
sistant-conductor, and I, escaping from my office, led the 
orchestra. This, as it were, extempore solemnization, might 
justly be pronounced a total failure, as far as the music was 
concerned ; and it was not till the next day that all the or- 
chestral parts were corrected and studied. Beethoven, in- 
deed, perceived the vacillation on the stage and in the 
orchestra, but was not sensible that he was the principal 
cause of it, through his intent listening, and retarding the 

On New Year's Day, 1823, Beethoven, his nephew, and 
myself were seated at dinner, when a New- Year's card was 
brought from his brother, who lived in the next house, 
signed ''Johann van Beethoven, land-owner"(Gntsbesitzer), 
Beethoven immediately wrote on the back of it, "Ludwig 
van Beethoven, brain-owner" (Hirnbesitzer), and sent it 
back forthwith to the land-owner. It was only a few days 
before this whimsical circumstance, that this brother brag- 
gingly told our master, that he would never be worth so 
much as he (Johann van Beethoven) was.* It may easily 
be conceived that our Beethoven was mightily amused by 
this boast. 

During this winter (1823), Beethoven carried into effect 
the resolution which he had long before formed, of offering 
the new mass, in manuscript, to the European courts, great 
and small, for the sum of fifty ducats, a business which 
he left entirely to my management ; which was attended 
with innumerable formalities and difficulties, and required 
great patience. In his invitation to the subscription, Beet- 
hoven declared this work to be his "greatest" and his 
" best." And, in that addressed to the King of France, he 
called it " oeuvre le plus accompli." Only four sovereigns, 
namely, the Emperor of Russia, and the Kings of Prussia, 
Saxony, and France, accepted the offer, t Prince Anton 
von Radziwill. governor of Posen, subscribed for the fifth 
copy; and M. Schelble, on behalf of his Cecilia Club, at 

* Johann van Beethoven had been an apothecary, and was originally supplied 
with the means of establishing himself by his brother Ludwig. Having amassed 
considerable wealth, he rel iquished business, and became a landed proprietor. 

t Beethoven made no offers to Uje Austrian court: but be did to Prince Ester 
hazy, who, however, dec! ned it, 


Frankfort-on-the-Main, for the sixth and last.* The first 
of the sovereigns who subscribed was his Majesty the 
King of Prussia. 

A characteristic anecdote is connected with the notifica- 
tion made on this subject, through his Majesty's ambassador. 
Whether the Prussian ambassador, the Prince von Hatz- 
feld, had instructions from Berlin, or whether he wished, 
from his own impulse, to see Beethoven decorated with a 
Prussian order, I never knew ; but it is a fact, that the 
prince commissioned the director of chancery, Hofrath W., 
to ask Beethoven whether he might not be disposed to pre- 
fer a ro}'al order to the fifty ducats ; in which case he would 
transmit his wish to Berlin. Beethoven, without a moment's 
consideration, replied with great emphasis, "Fifty ducats!" 
A striking proof how lightly he prized insignia of honor or 
distinctions in general. Offers of this sort he would have 
invariably declined, proceed from what quarter soever they 
might. Without despising the well-merited decoration of 
an order on the breast of this or that artist of his time, he 
never envied any man that distinction, but frequently lashed 
unmercifully one or the other of his contemporaries for their 
"longing and snapping after ribbons," which, according to 
his notions, were gained only at the expense of the truth 
and the sacredness of art. 

This is the proper place to state that Beethoven applied 
among others to Gothe, relative to the affair of the sub- 
scription to the mass, soliciting his recommendation of it 
to the Grand-Duke of Weimar : but Gothe had already 
forgotten our Beethoven ; for he did not even deign to 
answer him, and Beethoven felt extremely mortified. This 
was the first and the last time that Beethoven ever asked 
a favor of Gothe. In like manner, his letter on the same 
subject in his own handwriting, to the King of Sweden, 
remained unanswered. This correspondence, however, car- 
ried back Beethoven's remembrance to the time when the 
King of Sweden, as Gen. Bernadotte, was ambassador 
of the French Republic at Vienna; and he distinctly recol- 

* Consequently, not ten or twelve copies, which Beethoven la said to hv 
sold In the way of subscription before the work was printed, as M. Seyfried 
-rroneously states in his biographical particulars 


lected that it was really Bernadotte who awakened in him 
the first idea of the " Sinfonia eroica." 

The King of France, Louis XVIII., acknowledged the 
transmission of this mass from Beethoven by sending him 
a heavy gold medal, with his portrait, and on the reverse 
the inscription, " Donne* par le Hoi a Monsieur Beethoven ;" 
which royal present was the more gratifying to him because 
he conceived that he was indebted for it to the influence of 
Cherubini with his Majesty, which he had previously soli- 
cited. I subjoin this certainly not uninteresting letter, 
copied from Beethoven's draft of it, which he sent from 
the country to me in the city, with instructions what to do 
with it. 

" Most respected Sir, With great pleasure I seize the opportu- 
nity of approaching you in writing. In spirit I do so very often, 
as I prize your works above all others of the theatrical class. 
The professional world, however, has to lament, that, for a long 
time past, in our Germany at least, no new theatrical work of 
yours has made its appearance. Highly as your other works arc 
estimated by competent judges, still it is a real loss to the art not 
to possess any new production of your genius for the stage. Gen- 
uine art is imperishable, and the genuine artist takes heart-felt 
delight in high productions of mind. Just so am I, too, transported 
whenever I hear a new work of yours, and take a greater interest 
in it than if it were my own ; in short, I honor and love you. Did 
not my continual ill health prevent me from seeing you in Paris, 
with what extraordinary pleasure should I converse with you on 
musical subjects! Imagine not that, because I am going to ask a 
favor of you, this is merely the introduction to my request. I hope 
and am convinced that you do not impute to me so mean a way of 

"I have just completed a grand solemn mass, and purpose send- 
ing it to the European courts, because I do not intend to publish 
it for the present. I have therefore, despatched, through the 
French embassy here, an invitation to his Majesty the King of 
France to subscribe to this work, and am persuaded that the king 
will be sure to take it upon your recommendation. Ma situation 
critique demande que je ne fixe pas seulement comme ordinaire 
mes voeux au ciel ; au contraire, il faut les fixer aussi en bas pour 
les ne'cessitds de la vie. 

" Be the fate of my request to you what it will, I shall never 
cease to love and to respect you, et vous resterez toujours celui de 
mes contemporains que je 1'estime le plus. Si vous me voulez 


faire un estrSme plaisir, c'e"tait, si vous m'ecrivez quelques lignes, 
ce que me soulagera bien. L'art unit tout le monde, how much 
more genuine artists ! et peut-etre vous me dignez aussi, de me 
mettre to reckon me also among the number. 
" Avec le plus haut estime, 

" Votre ami et serviteur, BEETHOVEN." 

A French translation of this letter was sent to Cherubini, 
out he returned no answer. 




Vindication of the Court of Austria from the Charge of neglecting Beethoven. 
Ills Political Principles thoroughly Republican. Solicited by his Friendi 
to compose a Mass for the Emperor. The Undertaking deferred by Fre- 
quent Indisposition, and other Causes. His Quarrel with a Publisher at 
Vienna. Annoyed by Pecuniary Troubles and Frequent Indisposition. 
Leaves Pleasant Quarters on Account of the Extreme Politeness of Ma 
Landlord. Writes the Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz byDlabelli. 
Undertakes to conduct his Opera of " Fidelio." Mortification arising from 
liis Deafness. Sub*nit9 impatiently to Medical Treatment. Made an Hon- 
orary Member of Several Societies. The Year 1823 thronged with Incidents 
in Beethoven's Life. Wretched Lodgings procured by his Brother Johann. 
Undertakes to write a New Opera, but is deterred by the Prospect of 
coming in Contact with German Singers. Begins to compose his Ninth 
Symphony, and completes it in 1824. Letter from the Archduke Ru- 

THE court of Austria has very frequently been re- 
proached by admirers of Beethoven's with having never 
done any thing for him. The charge is true ; but if we ex- 
amine this point more closely, and search for the motives, 
we shall perhaps find some tuat may excuse the imperial 
court for this backwardness. 

We have already shown in the Second Period, when treat- 
ing of the " Sinfonia Eroica," what were Beethoven's political 
sentiments. There needs, then, no further explanation to 
enable the reader to draw the certain conclusion, that a man, 
in whose head so thoroughly republican a spirit had estab- 
lished itself, could not feel comfortable in the vicinity of a 
court, and that this would not do any thing to serve him. 
This is quite enough to elucidate in the clearest mannei 


Beethoven's position in regard to the imperial court. Had 
not the Archduke Rudolph cherished such an enthusiastic 
fondness for music, and had not his spirit harmonized so 
entirely with Beethoven's and with his whole nature, he 
would have fled from him as he did from the whole court. 
The only exception was the Archduke Charles, the victor of 
Aspern, whom Beethoven always mentioned with veneration, 
as he knew to a certainty how well the illustrious hero could 
appreciate him ; and this prince alone had admittance to hia 
brother, the Archduke Rudolph, when Beethoven was with 
him. This liberal patron of arts and artists, who united the 
purest humanity with the warmest attachment to his great 
instructor, probably adopted this precaution for the purpose 
of avoiding any collision with other members of the imperial 
family.* The excellent Count Moritz von Lichnowsky 
tried for a long time in vain to produce a change in Beet- 
hoven's sentiments on this point, till, in 1823, his efforts were, 
in some degree successful. In the February of that year, 
this noble and indefatigable friend proposed to Count Moritz 
von Dietrichstein, at that time director of music to the 
court, that Beethoven should be commissioned to compose a 
mass for his Majesty the Emperor, hoping by this expedient 
to bring the master nearer to the court, and, as it were, to 
reconcile it with him. Count von Dietrichstein, a profound 
connoisseur, immediately acceded to the suggestion ; and I 
am enabled to communicate the results from the correspon- 
dence which took place between the two counts and Beet- 
hoven on the subject. 

In a letter dated the 23d of February, from Count Diet- 
richstein to Count Lichnowsky, he writes, among other 
things, as follows : 

" Dear Friend, ... I here send you also the score of a 
mass by Reutter, which Beethoven wished to see. It is true, that 
Lis Majesty the Emperor is tbnd of this style ; but Beethoven, if 

* It is evident from this how Beethoven felt and maintained his position 
In regard to the highest personages, and that he would not give up a single 
inch to them. This may serve, at the same time, to prove from what point of 
view he considered the world, and that in this particular he steadfastly adhered 
In practice to the immutable principle that dwelt within him (of which we havt 
already treated in the First Period), though by BO doing he lost many material 


he writes a mass, need not stick to that. Let him follow the im- 
pulse of his great genius, and merely attend to the following 
points : Not to make the mass too long or too difficult in the 
execution ; to let it be a Tutti-mass, and in the vocal parts to 
introduce only short soprano and alto solos (for which I have twa 
capital singing boys), but neither tenor, nor bass, nor organ solos, 
As to the instruments, he may introduce a violin, or oboe, or clari 
net solo, if he likes. 

" His Majesty is very fond of fugues, when well executed, but 
not too long ; the ' Sanctus ' with the ' Hosanna,' as short as possible, 
in order not to delay the ' Transubstantiation ; ' and if I may ven- 
ture to add, on my own account, the ' Dona nobis pacein,' connected 
with the ' Agnus Dei ' without any particular break, and kept so/?, 
which in two masses by Handel (compiled from his anthems), in 
two masses of Naumann's and the Abbe Stadler's, produces a 
particularly fine effect. 

" Such are briefly, according to my experience, the points to be 
observed ; and I should congratulate myself, the court, and 
the art, if our great Beethoven would speedily set about the 

Beethoven accepted this commission with pleasure. Ac- 
companied by Count Lichnowsky, he called forthwith upon 
Count Dietritchstein, to confer more at large on the subject, 
and resolved to fall to work immediately ; but this was all he 
did, not a step further could he be induced to stir. It 
was not any political crotchet that occasioned this stoppage. 
Frequent indisposition, a complaint of the eyes, and an un- 
toward circumstance of an unexpected nature, were the 
causes of his deferring this undertaking. It was, moreover, 
just in the next autumn that the ideas of the Ninth Sym- 
phony began to haunt his brain ; and thus it happened 
that he thought no more of the mass for the Emperor. 

The unpleasant circumstance just alluded to arose out of 
a dispute with a publishing-house at Vienna (not now in 
existence), which was attended with consequences disagree- 
able to Beethoven. This house had long entertained the 
plan of drawing our master so entirely into its interest, that 
he should bind himself by contract to make over to it ex- 
clusively all that he should in future write. At the same 
time, this firm proposed to enter jointly with him into the 
publication of his complete works ; a proposal which, in m^ 
opinion, was most favorable for Beethoven, and would very 


probably have been accepted, had it not been made depen- 
dent on the former plan. A formal scale (the original of 
which, with marginal remarks in Beethoven's own hand, is 
in my possession) was, in consequence, laid before him by 
the firm in question, in which every species of composition, 
from the symphony and the oratorio, down to the song, 
was specified, together with the sum which it offered to pay 
for each. This tariff Beethoven was to sign. He consulted 
several persons on the subject; and, most of them having 
dissuaded him from entering into the engagement, he re- 
fused to place himself in a dependence so revolting to his 
whole nature. Why should no other publisher be allowed 
to adorn his shop with a work of Beethoven's, when the 
house in question already had so many of them ? And 
why should the great master suffer his hands to be so tied 
as not to have the chance of getting a larger sum for 
this or that work from some other quarter? And why, 
besides, desire to secure a monopoly of the productions of 
mind ? 

As, then, the above plan failed to lead to the wished-for 
result, the other connected with it, relative to the publica- 
tion of the collected works, likewise fell to the ground. 
The firm, in consequence, demanded of Beethoven the 
speedy re-payment of the sum of eight hundred florins, ad- 
vanced to him when he was in a very necessitous state, as 
not a single copy of the new mass had as yet found a sub- 
scriber. Highly indignant at the unfeeling conduct of a 
man who called himself his friend, and whose business had 
been for a long period so much indebted to Beethoven, our 
master directed his friend Dr. Bach to serve that house 
with a counter-requisition, insisting on its publishing im- 
mediately the manuscripts which had been for many years in 
its possession ; namely, the first overture to " Fidelio, " 
the cantata " Der glorreiche Augenblick " ( " The Glorious 
Moment"), and several more; alleging, as a legal ground, 
that it was important to the mental as well as to the material 
interest of the author, that the productions of his mind 
should not be shut xip for a series of years under lock and 
key. The other party replied, "We have bought and paid 
for those manuscripts, consequently they are our property, 


and we have a right to do what we please with them." Di, 
Bach dissuaded Beethoven from carrying the affair into 
court; for he knew, from the suit with his sister-in-law, 
what a mischievous effect such judicial proceedings had upon 
his temper and his professional activity, both of which had 
already suffered in a high degree. He advised him to 
dispose of a bank-share, in order to discharge the debt 
due to the publisher ; but it was not until after long 
resistance that Beethoven could be prevailed upon to com- 


I mention this circumstance, which was one of the most 
galling occurrences in the life of the great master, for the 
purpose of showing, at the same time, how highly he prized 
his artistical freedom and independence. On the other 
hand, we see his small savings again diminished in conse- 
quence of this incident. Shortly before, one share parted 
with to pay a debt due to a true friend ; and now another, 
to satisfy the house in question, what trials for the tem- 
per of one struggling with continual indisposition and an- 
noyance ! 

In the spring of 1823, Beethoven again took up his 
quarters in the pleasant village of Hetzendorf, where the 
Baron von Pronay assigned to him a suite of apartments in 
his beautiful villa. Supremely happy as he felt, when, in 
the first days of his residence there, he explored the noble 
park, or overlooked the charming landscape from his win- 
dows ; yet he soon took a dislike to the place, and for no 
other reason than because " the Baron, whenever he met 
him, was continually making too profound obeisances to 
him." On the 24th of August, he wrote to me that he 
could not stay there any longer, and requested me to be 
with him by five o'clock the following morning, to accom- 
pany him to Baden, and assist him to seek lodgings there. 
I did as he desired; and off he started, with bag and 
baggage, for Baden, though he had already paid for his 
lodgings at Hetzendorf for the whole of the summer. His 
English piano-forte, made by Broadwood, presented to him 
several years before by Ferdinand Kies, John Cramer, and 
Sir George Smart, accompanied him in all these peregrina- 
tions. At the sale of Beethoven's effects, this instrument 


was purchased by the court-agent, Von Spina of Vienna, in 
whose possession it still remains.* 

At that villa, in Hetzendorf, Beethoven w:ote "The 
Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli," Op. 120, 
a work which amused him exceedingly. At first, there 
were to be but six or seven variations, for which moderate 
number Diabelli offered him eighty ducats ; but, when he 
fell to work, they soon increased to ten ; presently to twen- 
ty ; then to twenty-five ; and still he could not stop. Dia- 
belli, who was apprehensive of having too large a volume 
when he heard of twenty-five variations, was at last 
obliged to accept thirty-three variations instead of seven, 
for his eighty ducats. It was about the same sum, that is 
to say, eighty ducats, that Beethoven received for nearly 
every one of his last sonatas. 

On his return to Vienna, in the autumn of the same 
year, Beethoven received an invitation from the manager 
of the court opera-house to conduct his " Fidelio," which, 
after a long interval, was again to be represented. The 
proofs of his unfitness for such a duty, on account of his 
almost total deafness, furnished by the opening of the 
Josephstadt Theatre in the preceding year, were still before 
his eyes. Nevertheless, nothing on earth could dissuade 
him from accepting this invitation : at his desire I accom- 
panied him to the rehearsal. At the very first movement, 
the absolute impossibility of proceeding was apparent ; for 
not only did he take the time, either much quicker or much 
slower than the singers and the orchestra had been accus- 
tomed to, but retarded them incessantly. Kapell-meister 
Umlauf set things to rights as long as it was practicable ; 

* Beethoven, whom I saw frequently about this time, lent me the instrument 
In question to perform upon at a concert which I gave on the 15th of December, 
1823, at the Karnthuer-Thor Theatre, Vicuna; my object being to display the 
difference between the effects producible on Viennese, and on English instru- 
ments, by playing on one of the former in the first, and upon Beethoven's piano 
in the second act. The latter was internally and externally in so bad a state, 
owing to frequent removals and severe treatment on the part of its owner, that I 
should not have been able to avail myself of it, had not M. Graf, the Imperial 
piano-forte maker, been kind enough to put it into perfect order. For this con- 
cert, Beethoven also lent me his then MS. Overture in C, Op. 115, and gave mo 
directions with respect to its performance, that I might be able to impart hit 
views to the players at the rehearsal. It may not be uninteresting to add, tha* 
the present owner of the piano-forte alluded to is about to consign it to my car* 
tor the purpose of disposing of it. ED. 


but it was high time to tell poor Beethoven plainly, Thi 
will not do. But neither M. Duport, the manager, nor M. 
Umlauf, had the courage to say so ; and, when Beethoven 
perceived a certain embarrassment in every countenance, 
he motioned me to write down for him what it meant. In 
a few words, I stated the cause, at the same time entreat- 
ing him to desist; on which he immediately left the orches- 
tra. The melancholy which seized him after this painful 
incident was not dispelled the whole day, and even at table 
he uttered not a single word. 

Beethoven, after this event, applied repeatedly to the 
army-surgeon, Smetana, to relieve his complaint : and he 
actually put him for some time on a course of medicine ; 
but the most impatient patient served the physic as he had 
always done before. He not unfrequently took in two 
doses the medicines destined for the whole day ; or he for- 
got them entirely, when his ideas lifted him above the 
material world and carried him into loftier regions. How 
difficult he was to manage in this particular was well known 
to every medical man who had attended him, and in former 
years even to Von Vehring, physician to the staff, though 
he durst venture to assume a certain authority over him. 

It was in this year that the Society of the Friends of 
Music of the Austrian Empire in Vienna sent to our Beet- 
hoven the diploma of an honorary member of that society. 
It is right to observe that this society had already existed 
ten years, and during that time had nominated many native 
and foreign professional men honorary members, for which 
reason Beethoven felt hurt that he had not been thought 
of before. He would, therefore, have sent back the diploma 
immediately, but suffered himself to be persuaded not to do 
so, and rather to take it in silence, without returning aiy 
answer to the society. 

The diploma of honorary member of the Academy of 
Arts and Sciences of Stockholm had been previously 
transmitted to him in the autumn of 1822. 

Upon the whole, the year 1823 was thronged with inci- 
dents in Beethoven's life, the number of which was in- 
creased by the following circumstance : Beethoven was 
quartered, by means of his brother Johann, in * dark 


lodging, fit at best for a shoemaker, and which, because it 
was cheap, was considered suitable for the " brain-owner." 
But it was not this circumstance alone that made our mas- 
ter's life uncomfortable : in this lodging he had for hia 
landlord a low-bred man, coarse in manners and disposition, 
who treated him with no more respect than if he had been 
a day-laborer. This was a miserable abode for Beethoven, 
who had been accustomed to something so very different ; 
and the winter of 1822-23 might, owing to this fatal situa- 
tion of the great composer, furnish plenty of matter for 
tales and humorous pieces. I know of but one cheering 
event which occurred while he was in that horrid den. In 
April, 1823, the Countess Schafgotsch, of Warmbrunn in 
Silesia, brought him his First Mass, with a new German 
text, written by M. Scholz, music-director at that place. 
We were just at dinner. Beethoven quickly opened the 
manuscript, and ran over a few pages. When he came to 
qui tollis, the tears trickled from his eyes, and he was 
obliged to desist, saying with the deepest emotion, in refer- 
ence to the inexpressibly beautiful text, "Yes, that was 
precisely my feeling when I wrote this." This was the first 
and the last time that I saw him in tears. He was just 
about to send his Second Mass to the same admirable 
writer, that he might adapt a German text to that also, 
when he received intelligence of his death ; and I rejoiced 
exceedingly that I had been in time to inform that excel- 
lent man what an eifect his work, which I still possess, had 
produced upon Beethoven. 

In the first months of 1823, Beethoven was urged from 
various quarters to write an opera ; and the manager of the 
court opera-house was particularly desirous to have one 
of his composition. From Count Briihl, intendant of the 
court theatre at Berlin also, Beethoven received a com- 
mission to write an opera for that house a tout prix. 
Dozens of opera texts were now collected : but he disliked 
them all ; for he proposed to take a subject from the Greek 
or Roman history, to which objections were made on 
the absurd ground that those subjects had been already 
exhausted, and were no longer modern. At last came 
M. Franz Grillparzer with his " Melusina." The subject 


pleased Beethoven, only he wished to have certain passages 
altered, which Grillparzer readily consented to do.* The 
poet and the composer were agreed upon the principal 
points of the alterations ; and we were rejoicing in the pros- 
pect of seeing upon our boards Mademoiselle Henriette 
Sontag, whom Beethoven proposed to keep particularly in 
his eye in the character of Melusina. But how did Beet- 
hoven disappoint us all ! Annoyed by the recollection of 
what had happened with his " Fidelio," he told no one that 
he had sent Grillparzer's manuscript to Count Briihl for 
his inspection. Of course we knew nothing about it till 
the count's answer lay before us. The count expressed 
himself much pleased with the poem, and merely remarked 
that there was a ballet performing at the Court Theatre of 
Berlin "which had a distant resemblance to 'Melusina.'" 
This observation, and the prospect of again coming into 
contact with German opera-singers, discouraged Beethoven 
to such a degree that he relinquished the idea of writing 
an opera, and would not thenceforward listen to any thing 
that might be said on the subject. I must, however, re- 
mark here, that he was extremely delighted with the perform- 
ances of the company then at the Italian Opera in "Vi- 
enna, f to which belonged Lablache, Donzelli, Eubini, Pac- 
cini, Ambrogi, Cicciraarra ; and among the ladies, Fodor- 
Mainville, Dardanelli, Ekerlin, Sontag, and Ungher; and 
was so particularly struck with the inspired Caroline Ungher, 
that he determined to write an Italian opera for that select 
band of priests and priestesses of Thalia. This design 
would certainly have been carried into execution in the 
following year (to which this new work was deferred on 
account of the already projected Ninth Symphony), had 
not a fatal north wind blown away this and many other 
fine schemes, which we shall have occasion to notice here- 

In November, 1823, Beethoven began to compose the 
Ninth Symphony, for which he brought many sketches 

*See Supplement, No. V. 

t He merely saw two representations, one of which was the Barber of Se- 
ville, but without hearing a word of them. At his desire, the score was sent to 
his lodgings ; and, after he had looked through it, he made this curious remark 
Rossini would have been a great composer if his master had oftener given him 
a sound flogging." 


from the country to town with him ; and in February, 
1824, this colossus was completed. It may not be uninter- 
esting here to notice the way in which Beethoven contrived 
cleverly to introduce Schiller's song, "Freude schoner 
Grotterfunken," into the fourth movement of the symphony. 
At that time I was seldom from his side, and could there- 
fore closely observe his struggles with this difficulty. The 
highly interesting sketches and materials for it, all of 
which I possess, likewise bear witness to them. One day, 
when I entered his room, he called out to me, " I have it ! 
I have it ! " holding out to me his sketch-book, where I 
read these words, " Let us sing the immortal Schiller's 
song, 'Freude ; ' " &c., which introduction he afterwards 
altered to " Friends, not these tones ! " This first idea 
will be found in the engraved fac-simile at the end of the 

The recitative of the double-bass also was not compre- 
hended in his original plan, and was added when he 
changed the above-mentioned introductory movement ; in 
consequence of which, it was necessary to give a different 
form to almost all that preceded, as the fundamental senti- 
ment of that device required. He had nearly the same 
process to go through with the melody in the first verse, 
which the bass-solo has to sing. The sketch-book shows a 
fourfold alteration ; and above each he wrote, according to 
his practice, " Meilleur," as may be seen in the engraved 
fac-simile, No. II.* 

In this, as the proper place for it, I shall introduce a 
correct copy of an autograph letter from the Archduke 
Rudolph to Beethoven, which serves to show the friendly 
relations subsisting between master and scholar. 

* I am ao fortunate as to possess the original score of this work. Remind- 
ing Beethoven of the fate of the Kyrie in the Grand Mass, and apprehensive that 
this score might also be used by his servants as waste paper for wrapping up 
boots and shoes, I asked him for it; and he gave it to me, attaching no higher 
value to such a gift than an ordinary sheet of paper. In the year 1823, his manu- 
scripts fared precisely as they had d >ne twenty years earlier, as M. Ries re- 
marks (p. 113). All of them lay about in the utmost confusion, and any one 
that chose might take away what he pleased unmolested. May not this indiffer- 
ence towards the productions of his genius, the value of which however, he 
well knew, be considered as the strongest proof that in his mind there was ng 
trace of conceit, self-importance, cr even egotism ? In whom has the like evei 
been eeon ? 


VIENNA, July 31st, 1828. 

Dear Beethoven, I shall be back again in Vienna on the 
5th of August, and shall stay there ibr some days. I hope that 
your health will then permit you to come to town. In the after 
noon, from four till seven, I am generally at home. 

My brother-in-law, Prince Anton,* has already written to me 
that the King of Saxony is expecting your beautiful mass. 

As for D . . . r, I have spoken about him to our most gracious 
Sovereign, as well as to Count Dietrichstein. Whether this 
recommendation may prove serviceable, I cannot tell, as there 
will be a competition for that appointment, at which each of the 
candidates must furtiish proofs of his abilities. I should be very 
.glad if I could render a service to this clever man, whom I heard 
with pleasure playing the organ last Monday at Baden, and the 
more so, inasmuch as I am convinced that you would not recom- 
mend an unworthy person. 

I hope that you have written your canon ; and beg you, if your 
health would suffer by coming to town, not to exert yourself too 
early, out of attachment to me.f 

Your sincere Friend and Scholar, 


* Afterwards King of Saxony. 

t The kind archduke was needlessly concerned. When Beethoven was quite 
well, he went in general only with great reluctance to his illustrious patron and 
scholar; n^y, he was ill in imagination whenever he heard that the archduke 
was comic 3 to town. He was accustomed to call the giving of lessons in this 
case " court-service ; " and what ideas he connected with that term it is easy to 
guess. On the other hand, his dislike to give systematic instruction made mat- 
ters still worse. We discover in all this the very same " ill tempered donkey," 
as at the time when he lived at Bonn. Then, again, the lessons of this archduke 
required preparation on the part of the instructor, and also some regard to the 
toilet;* hence it was so hard a task for him to go to the imperial palace, but one 
above which, in this case, be could not set himself. 

personal instance of this : on waiting upon the archduke for the purpose of present 
ing him with a copy of the lJuet in. E flat (Op. 47), which I had the bonor of dedicating 
to him, I found him, to my surprise, in his ecclesiastical cardinal's robes, in which I 
had never, till then, seen him. His usual affability of manner, however, remained an 
changed. He took up the copy with eagerness, and, hardly allowing himself time to 
glance over it, said, "Let us try it." This was done as soon as said. I knew not 
whether most to adm're the clever manner in which he played this composition at 
light, or at the disparity of the persons engaged in its execution, not in rank only, but 
In costume ; for it was impossible, as often as my eye glanced downwards towarlt the 
pedal, not to ha struck by the sight of his red stockings side by side with my black 
ones. ED. 




Oratorio contemplated by Beethoven. The German and Italian Opera at VI 
enna. Memorial addressed to Beethoven. Results of his Concert at the 
Hof-Theatre. Mademoiselles Sontag and Uugher. Beethoven's Distrust 
ful Disposition. Invited to visit England. Proposition from the Philhar 
monic Society. Hia Arrangements with a Russian Prince. His Residence 
near Schonbrunn. His Illness. Hedisposeaof some of his Works. Hia 
Adopted Nephew. Extracts from Beethoven's Letters to him. Beetho 
ven's Physicians. His Sufferings. He writes to Mr. Moscheles. Gene 
rosity of the Philharmonic Society. Beethoven's Property. His Death. 
Preparations for the Funeral. Conformation of his Skull. 

THE Ninth Symphony was finished ; and Beethoven now 
proposed to devote his attention, without delay, to a work 
worthy of his powers, the composition of an Oratorio, writ- 
ten by his friend C. Bernard, and entitled " The Victory of 
the Cross." From this work, he anticipated much pleasure, 
as he was satisfied with the poetry, a point, in his estima- 
tion, of no little moment, when an occurrence took place 
that deserves to be circumstantially related, as well on ac- 
count of its importance to the history of art, as because, in 
relation to Beethoven, its consequences were interesting. 

The Italian opera in Vienna had now for some years pos- 
sessed itself of those halls devoted to the melodious art, 
which in the time of Gluck had been exclusively occupied 
by German music ; and although, for the last ten years, the 
tendencies exhibited by the musical world had been rathei 


towards the sensual and the material, yet, in the main body 
of the Vienna public, a noble spirit was stirring, which it 
would never have been possible to exclude, or rather to ex- 
pel, from its native soil, had there only existed a determina- 
tion firmly to uphold what was of native growth. 

The German opera had still among her votaries devoted 
adherents, who, by holding manfully together, might long 
have resisted the force of prevalent error, and saved the 
edifice from destruction. 

A former administration does not seem to have duly un- 
derstood the demands of the time, so as, while cautiously 
yielding to them to a certain extent, to have, nevertheless, 
retained all that was essential. The public, therefore, be- 
came impatient; and the first Italian solfeggio that was 
heard within those walls sounded like the signal of banish- 
ment to the German opera. The violence of the current 
carried every one along with it. No one asked in what di- 
rection he was borne ; for all were enchanted, intoxicated, 
with the roulades of the Rossini school. Few, indeed, were 
they, who could resist the force of such a stream, and pre- 
serve in all its purity their taste for the truly beautiful and 
ideal in art; but to this little band German music is deeply 
indebted ; for its warning voice by degrees brought back 
many a wanderer to the right path. 

How, then, did all this affect Beethoven? As monarch 
in his own domain, he was almost as much forgotten by the 
crowd as if he had never existed ; and no other mark of 
distinction was conferred upon him than the manifestation 
of outward respect, even by persons of the highest rank, 
whenever he made his appearance. How deeply he felt 
this ominous state of things, and how much it weighed 
upon his mind, was proved by his more than ordinary seclu 
sion, as well as his determination to bring out the two ne\\ 
works, the Mass, and the Ninth Symphony, in Berlin. The 
report of this intention induced a small number of artists- 
and friends of art to make an effort to avert from the impe- 
rial city the threatened disgrace : and they, in consequence, 
addressed to Beethoven a memorial, of which, on account 
of the interest of its contents, I will here give a faithful 
transcript : 



" A small number of the disciples and lovers of art, from the 
wide circle of admirers of your genius, in your adopted city, pre- 
sent themselves before you to-day, in order to give utterance to 
wishes long felt, and to prefer a request which they have long hesi- 
tated to make. 

" Although the number of speakers bears but a small proport ion 
to that crowd who are sensible of your worth, and joyfully ac- 
knowledge what you have done for the present and future time, 
yet their wishes and requests are by no means confined to the 
speakers, but shared by all to whom art, and the realization of the 
ideal, are more than a means of passing away an idle hour. Their 
wish is the wish also of a countless number ; and their requests are 
repeated, aloud or in silence, by all whose bosoms are animated by 
a sense of whatever is divine in music. 

" The wishes of those who venerate art in our native country 
are those which we would more especially express to you at pres- 
ent ; for, although the name and the creations of Beethoven be- 
long to every country where a susceptibility to the beauties of art 
exists, Austria may yet boast of the nearest claim to them. Among 
her people, a due sense of the value of the great and immortal 
works of Mozart and Haydn, produced within her bosom, is not 
yet dead ; and with joyful pride do they remember that the sacred 
triad, in which your name and theirs appear as the symbol of 
whatever is highest in the spiritual realms of music, sprung from 
the soil of their father-land. 

" So much the more painful, however, must it be to you to see 
that a foreign power has invaded this royal citadel, that above 
the graves of the departed, and within the dwelling-place of the 
only one of this band that is still left us, productions are taking 
the lead, which can boast of no relationship with the princely spir- 
its of the house ; shallowness usurping the name and symbol of 
art, and an unworthy sporting with what is holy darkening and 
effacing the sense of truth and everlasting beauty. 

" More than at any former time, therefore, do those who now 
address you feel a lively conviction that the one thing needful at 
the present moment is a new impulse from a powerful hand, a 
new appearance of the sovereign within his own domain. This 
necessity it is which brings them to you to-day ; and the following 
are the requests which they now prefer to you in the name of na- 
tive art and of all to whom it is dear. 

" Withdraw no longer froir the public enjoyment, deny no 
longer to our sense of whac is great and perfect the performance 
of the latest masterpiece of your hand. We know that a valuable 


composition in church music has been produced, to succeed that in 
which you have immortalized the sensations of a soul, penetrated 
by the power of faith and illumined by the divine rays of genius. 
We know that a new flower blooms in the garland of your mag- 
nificent and unequalled symphonies. For years, since the thun- 
ders of ' The Victory of Vittoria ' ceased to sound, have we anx- 
iously hoped to see you pour out again, in a circle of kindred 
spirits, fresh gifts from the abundance of your wealth. Disappoint 
no longer the expectations of your friends ; heighten the impres- 
sion of your newest creations by introducing us yourself to the 
knowledge of them. Permit not these, the youngest offspring of 
your genius, to appear one day as strangers in the place of their 
birth, to fall, perhaps, into the hands of those whose minds are 
foreign to yours. 

" Appear, then, once more in the circle of your friends, your ad- 
mirers, your venerators : this is our first and most urgent request. 

" Other claims on your talents, however, have been openly put 
forward. The wishes expressed, and the offers made to you, a year 
ago by the directors of our Court Opera, and afterwards by the 
Society of Austrian Lovers of Music, were shared and approved 
by too many who respected your name, and were concerned for 
the interests of art, not to have quickly become public, and to have 
excited universal interest. Poetry has done her part to support 
these pleasing hopes and expectations, and worthy materials from 
a much-esteemed poetical mind await only your magic touch to 
charm them into life. 

" Let this summons to so noble a work not be heard in vain. 
Delay no further to transport us back to those long-departed days 
when the power of Polyhymnia moved with mighty spells alike 
the hearts of the multitude and of the consecrated priests of art. 
Need we say with what deep regret your late retired mode of life has 
filled us ? Is any assurance required that all eyes have been turned 
towards you, and that all have seen with sorrow that he, whom 
they acknowledge as the highest of living men in his own domain, 
should have looked on in silence while our German soil has been 
invaded by the footsteps of foreign art, the seat of the Gfrrnau 
muse usurped, and German works have become but the echo of 
those of strangers ; threatening a second childhood of taste to suc- 
ceed its golden age ? You alone are able to secure activity to the 
efforts of the best among us. You alone can bestow new life on 
national art and on the German opera; bid them bloom once 
more, and save the true and the beautiful from the violence by 
which the fashion of the day seeks to subject to itself their ever- 
lasting laws. 

" Suffer us, then, to hope for the speedy fulfilment of the wishes 
of all to whom your harmonies have penetrated. This is our seo 



or.d and most urgent request. May this year not pass without our 
being rejoiced by witnessing the fruits of our entreaties, and may 
the unfolding of one of those long-wished-for gifts render the com- 
ing spring to us, and to the whole world of art, a twofold time of 
promise I 


COUNT CZERNTN, Chamberlin. 



" VIEHNA, February, 1824." 

The bearers of this memorial indulged the expectation of 
receiving immediately from Beethoven an assurance of hia 
compliance with the requests contained in it; but in this 
they were egregiously mistaken, for he declined reading it 
till he should be alone. I had been prevented from being 
present when it was delivered to him, and arrived only just 
as he had finished its perusal. He communicated to me 
the contents, and, after running them over once more, 
handed the paper quietly to me ; then turning towards the 
window he remained some time looking up at the sky. I 
cotild not help observing that he was much affected ; and, 
after I had read it, I laid it down without speaking, in the 
hope that he would first begin the conversation. After a 
long pause, whilst his eyes never ceased following the 


clouds, he turned round, and said, in a solemn tone which 
betrayed his internal emotion, " It is really gratifying ! I 
am much pleased." I nodded assent, and wrote in the con- 
versation-book that he must now be convinced that he 
would meet with sufficient support, if he would resolve to 
have the two new pieces brought out soon at a concert. To 
this course he had always declared himself decidedly ad- 
verse ; professing his conviction, that from the alteration 
which had taken place in musical taste, and in the intoxi- 
cated state of the public mind, no sensibility remained for 
what was truly great.* 

Beethoven read what I had just written, and then said, 
" L'et us get into the open air." When we were out, he 
appeared, contrary to his custom, rather disposed to taci- 
turnity ; but I remarked the glimmering of a latent wish 
to comply with the well-meant requests of his admirers. 

After a good deal of discussion with one and another, it 
was at last decided that the works should be brought before 
the public; but where? This was a question hard to 
answer, so that several weeks elapsed before it could be 
settled ; and I will venture to say that the good people of 
Bonn were not so much perplexed to decide on the place 
best adapted for Beethoven's monument, and that many an 
entangled political problem was solved in less time at the 
congress of Vienna. 

Since Beethoven had intrusted to me alone the arrange- 
ment of the concert to be given, I might, in speaking of 
the difficulties I had to overcome, take occasion to mention 
at length the numerous obstacles and intrigues, the many 
basely avaricious demands, and the innumerable tricks and 
machinations, of which I became aware, but that it would 
lead me too far from my subject. I will therefore only 
observe, that, after a long debate, the place chosen was 
the Hof-Theatre at the Karnthner Thor ; but this did not 
advance the matter much. A new struggle was now to be 
commenced with the manager, M. Duport, who was no less 

* Beethoven had already expressed himself to the same effect two years be- 
fore to Hofrath Rochlitz, as may be seen in his work, " For the Friends of Mu- 
sic," vol. iv. p. 355. I shall recur to this subject at the conclusion of tht 
musical part of this book. 


zealous than the rest for the interest of his theatre, and 
wished to make a profit of Beethoven's undertaking. 

When two flints had come into collision, what results 
could be expected ? especially as neither one nor the other 
remained steady to his first terms, but changed every day 
like a weathercock. 

At length, in order to be at least certain of what were 
the wishes of one of the contracting parties, we were obliged 
to have recourse to the following stratagem : I begged 
Count Lichnowsky and M. Schuppanzigh to call on Beet- 
hoven at the same hour, as if by accident, and to sound 
him with regard to his intentions. On this occasion we 
were to endeavor to lead him to speak categorically on the 
several points in discussion ; and one of us was immediately 
to write down whatever he should say, and then, half in 
jest, half in earnest, call on him to sign it. 

The plan succeeded to admiration, but what was the con- 
sequence ? From the whole procedure, Beethoven at length 
became aware of our design, and, suspecting as usual false- 
hood and treachery at the bottom, despatched to us the fol- 
lowing sultan-like hatti-sherif : 


<; I despise artifices. Let me have no more of your visits. The 
Academy (the concert) will not take place. 



" Let me see you no more. I shall give no Academy. 



" Do not come near me again till I send for you. No Academy 


Fortunately Beethoven did not send us the silken cord 
along with these missives, so we all three remained in the 
land of the living. We suffered hip anger to evaporate, 
and in the mean time assisted each other to do the besl 
that we could do for him. 


Towards the end of April, Beethoven one day wrote to 
me in an angry mood, " After these six weeks' squab- 
bling about this and that, I feel absolutely boiled, stewed, 
and roasted. What is to be done at last about this much- 
talked-of concert ? Unless the prices are raised, what will 
remain for me after so many expenses, since the copying 
alone has cost so much ? " 

It will appear from this, that the principal point in dis- 
cussion was concerning the raising the prices of admission. 
If Beethoven wished to get back the money that he had 
already expended, he must after all, nolens volens, submit 
to the demand of the manager, which was, that the concert 
should take place in the theatre, on a subscription-night, at 
the ordinary prices ; and that for the use of it, as well as 
of the chorus and orchestra, the administration should 
receive the sum of one thousand florins, Vienna currency. 
There was no help for it. It was now, " Beethoven, 
submit to your fate." 

The concert took place on the 7th of May, 1824. The 
house was filled to overflowing. The gross receipts were 
two thousand and twenty florins ; of which, subtracting 
one thousand for the theatre and eight hundred for the 
copying, there remained for Beethoven four hundred and 
twenty florins. Every box was crammed, with the single 
exception of the emperor's, which remained empty, although 
Beethoven had gone in person, in my company, to make the 
invitations to all the members of the imperial family then 
in Vienna, and some of the illustrious personages had prom- 
ised to attend. When the time came, however, the emperor 
and empress were on a journey, and the Archduke Rudolph 
was in Olmiitz ; so that our great master was obliged to 
shift without the countenance of the imperial court. 

These were the immediate results of the concert. The 
details of the further consequences to Beethoven I may be 
permitted to pass over for the present, as I shall have much 
worse to notice in the sequel ; but I cannot forbear men- 
tioning some facts connected with the rehearsal of the vocal 
parts of the two works above alluded to. 

It will, perhaps, be remembered that, in speaking of the 
performance of " Fidelio," in the Second Period, I observed 



that Beethoven was in the habit of paying little attention 
to the possibility of the execution of what he wrote for the 
vocal parts. Innumerable proofs of this assertion may be 
found again in the Second Mass and in the Ninth Symphony, 
which, during the rehearsals of the chorus and solo parts, 
led to many unpleasant discussions. With due deference 
for the master, it was not possible to avoid telling him that 
this and that passage could not be sung. The two ladies, 
Mademoiselle Sontag and Mademoiselle Ungher, who un- 
dertook the soprano and alto solos, came several times to 
practise them at Beethoven's house, and made the remark 
to him beforehand.* 

* There is no doubt that the vocal parts of Beethoven's works frequently He 
very high, especially in places where words are to be pronounced. This Is the 
case with his Ninth Symphony with Soli and chorus. The 1st recitative for the 
bass voice is in some parts uncomfortably high ; and the composer himself per- 
mits the einger, in Its opening 

notes, to sing 

He would certainly have given similar licenses in several other parts of this reel 
'.ative, if it had not been against his plan of unity in this musical poem, as the 
*ame notes of the recitative are performed by- the double-bass In the foregoing 
instrumental movement. When 1 prepared, for the first time, to conduct this 
ymphony, on the occasion of its revival by the Philharmonic Society (April 
:7, 1837), I found similar difficulties in other parts of the vocal movement. An 
imperfect execution of these was to be apprehended, derogatory to the general 
effect. I considered it a bold undertaking to attempt any alteration, since 
every work which comes from such a master-genius should be reverentially 
handled : I nevertheless ventured to facilitate the execution of the passages in 
question. The full amount of changes made by me is acknowledged In the fol- 
lowing illustration : in HO doing, I hope to prove the truth of the saying, " That 
he who accuses himself has the best chance of finding mercy at the hands of 
critical judge*." ED. 



Soprano. ^^, 


;r r J J 



Basso '.I 






* Tbe pssajfu8 marked with u *. and iuserted in small notes, ii jdicate the 
blgb notes alluded to. Ko. 






,hJ,O DO & 

r r r r 




f r 










r: rs \ri .r: r: r: n ri 

j. J ' J-^-'^ -vJ* 
#tf- r ^ *=^ 



i ^ ^ i 




v [j.^*^i^i 


r ' \ I I h ' I- r 


* Tills Is the very part I did alter, as sliown lu tlie above illustration; for If, ai 
the sequel shows, a Sontag had perseverance and means sufficient to work It ou*, 
tin 1 same could not be expected from every singer, and least of all from the Choru* 
which repeats the same passage after the Solo performers, ED. 


Mile. Ungher did not hesitate to call him the tyrant of 
singers ; but he only answered, smiling, that it was because 
they were both so spoiled by the modern Italian style of 
singing that they found the two new works difficult.* "But 
this high passage here," said Sontag, pointing to the vocal 
quartette in the symphony, 

" Kiisse gab sie uns und Reben " 

u would it not be possible to alter that ? " " And this 
passage, M. van Beethoven," continued Mademoiselle 
Ungher, " is also too high for most voices. Could we not 
alter that ? " " No, no, no ! " was the answer.t " Well, 
then, for Heaven's sake (in Gottes Nam&n), let us work 
away at it again ! " said the patient Sontag. 

As for the poor soprani, in the chorus parts of the mass, 
every day did they complain to Beethoven that it was out 
of their power to reach and sustain the high notes so long 
as he prescribed. In some places the tyrant remained inex- 
orable ; though it would have been easy for him, by a trans- 
position of some of the intervals, to render those passages 
easier for the voices, without altering any thing essential. 
Umlauf, the most strictly classical conductor I have ever 
known, to whom Beethoven had committed the management 
of the whole, also made some modest remarks on this diffi- 
culty, but equally in vain. The consequence of this ob- 
stinacy was, that ever} chorus-singer, male and female, got 
over the stumbling-block as well as he or she could, and, 
when the notes were too high, left them out altogether. J 

The master, however, standing in the midst of this con- 
fluence of music, heard nothing of all this, was not even 
sensible of the tumultuous applause of the auditory at the 

* He was in a measure right; for, what wtth fioriture and roulades, the true 
Cantabile style had until then remained to these two ladies. 

t The same thing took place with the bass solo part; in which, however, 
Beethoven at length gave way, and made a little alteration in the recitative 
because it was too high for the singer. 

J In this they were not in the wrong. As to the saying, "jitrare in verbs 
magistri," I am of opinion that it would be better to spoil the effect of a whole 
piece than to destroy a single voice; and that therefore every skilful director 
hould make such alteration as may be found necessary for the voices, especially 
In the mass, where there are many soprano passages, which may be screamed 
bat cannot be sung. These alterations are, besides, very easily made ; and the 
fleet will be fraud and true, win .11 all the voice* can proceed at ease. 


close of the symphony, but was standing with his back to 
the proscenium, until Mademoiselle Ungher, by turning 
round and making signs, roused his attention that he might 
at least see what was going on in the front of the house. 
This acted, however, like an electric shock on the thousands 
present, who were struck with a sudden consciousness of 
his misfortune ; and as the flood-gates of pleasure, com- 
passion, and sympathy were opened, there followed a vol- 
canic explosion of applause which seemed as if it would 
never end.* 

This success, such as had never been witnessed in those 
venerable halls of art, induced the speculative manager of 
the theatre to propose a repetition of the new works (with 
the exception of four numbers of the mass), securing before- 
hand to Beethoven five hundred florins, Vienna currency 
(twelve hundred and fifty francs). The manager offered to 
take on himself all expenses, but claimed all the surplus 
receipts. Discouraged by the small profit of the first 
concert (four hundred and twenty florins, paper currency), 
Beethoven, for a long time, would not agree to this, but 
was at length necessitated to comply. In the latter part 
of the month of May, accordingly, the repetition took place 
in the imperial assembly-rooms ("Kedouten-Saal "); the 
four movements of the mass, however, " Kyrie," " Credo," 
"Agnus Dei," and " Dona nobis pacem," which were the 
only parts of the mass performed at the first concert, were 
destined to be omitted, though Beethoven protested strongly 
against it. In place of them, the Italian roulade-monger, 
Signer David, sung the favorite Cavatina, "Di tanti pal- 
piti," in spite of the outcry of all the purists ; and Sontag 
gave innumerable fioriture of Mercadante's. Of Beethoven's 
music, besides the Ninth Symphony, the terzetto " Tremate, 
empi trematc," by Italian singers, and the grand Over- 
ture in C major, with the double fugue, were also per- 

The pecuniary result of these manifold exertions was, 
that the manager had the pleasure of paying eight hundred 
florins towards the expenses, as the house was not half full . 

* For MI ooonnt of thlt concert, see Supplement, No. DC 


and that Beethoven, deeply vexed at this unexpected 
result, declined at first to accept the five hundred florins 
guaranteed to him, and was with much difficulty at last 
prevailed upon to take the money. The most complete ill- 
humor took possession of him, so that he was no longer 
accessible to any one ; and it was increased by the gossiping 
tittle-tattle of certain persons, who put it into his head 
that he had been cheated at the first concert, and thus ex- 
cited his suspicions, especially against me. At a dinner, 
which he gave a few da_ys afterwards to the two directors 
of his concert, Messrs Unilauf and Schuppanzigh, and to 
me, in the Prater, he could no longer restrain his anger, 
but declared that he had been informed that I, in con- 
junction with the manager, M. Duport, had defrauded him. 
It was in vain that our two companions endeavored to con- 
vince him, that as every piece of money had passed through 
the hands of the two cashiers of the theatre, and their 
accounts of the receipts exactly corresponded, a fraud on 
either side was out of the question : he refused to retract 
his charge ; and I consequently withdrew immediately, in 
company with M. Umlauf, and did not see Beethoven agair 
till the month of November, when he called upon me at the 
theatre in the Josephstadt, where I was acting as music- 
director, and begged that what had passed might be for- 

This occurrence may serve to show what it was to bo 
Beethoven's friend, and to keep on good terms with him 
only a single year. How much friendship, how many sacri- 
fices, what an entire self-denial, did it not require to submit 
to be daily exposed to the most malicious calumnies, and 
even to the most dishonorable accusations. The friend of 
his youth, Hofrath von Breuning, was alienated from him 
by a similar reflection on his honor ; and Beethoven was 
only brought back to him by certain melancholy events of 
the year 1826, when he stood in need of his assistance. 

An accusation of this kind occasioned a coolness of 
twelve years' standing between him and his old friend Dr. 
Malfatti ; and it was not till Beethoven was on his death- 
bed that 1 brought about a reconciliation. Credulous, in- 
experienced, and distrustful as he was, it was easy for anj 


worthless person to slander and set him against his most 
tried friend. It was not always that the:}e calumnies origi- 
nated with his brothers ; but other odious creatures were 
continually poisoning his mind, as there are examples enough 
to prove in his conversation-books. 

In Hs last illness he circumstantially related to me and 
M. von Breuning many of the intrigues and machinations 
of some of those persons, whose motives were always envy 
and covetousness. He also confessed that he had several 
times been induced to write letters, declaring his conviction 
of the deceit and treachery of this or that friend, without 
any better ground than those false accusations. 

The manner in which he made his peace, however, was 
so frank and open-hearted, that one could not help passing 
over every vexation and insult that might have been re- 
ceived from him. 

With his servants he was accustomed to make up these 
affronts by presents of money ; and it was said that his 
faithful old housekeeper, who bore his humors for many 
years, was able to help him in time of need with what she 
had saved out of these presents, or rather fines, which 
Beethoven had imposed on himself. That there really were 
such moments, I can myself bear witness ; and a note which 
I received from him in the spring of the year 1824 attests 
the same thing: "Frau Schnapps (a nickname he had 
given to his housekeeper) will advance what is wanted for 
housekeeping ; so come and dine with me at two o'clock. I 
have some good news to tell ; but let this be between our- 
selves, that the brain-eater* may know nothing about it. 

In the spring of the year 1824, Beethoven was again in- 
vited to visit England, and he appeared more than usually 
resolved on undertaking this journey in the following 
autumn. I was to accompany him ; and we were to travel 
through the Rhenish provinces that he might see his native 
country once more, where, alas ! not a creature, with the 
exception of Dr. Wegeler in Coblentz, Bies's father, and 
the music-publisher Simrock in Bonn, ever bestowed a 

* Thli refer* to hi* brother Johann. 


thought upon him. How rare was his correspondence, even 
with these old friends, appears from the " Notices of Beetho- 
ven," published by the first-mentioned of them. Autumn 
approached, but Beethoven made no preparations for the 

In a letter dated the 20th of December, of the same year, 
the invitation was most pressingly repeated on the part of 
the Philharmonic Society, by Mr. Neate,* music professoi 
of London, who had formerly passed some time in Vienna. 
The terms offered were as follows : 

" The Philharmonic Society proposes to pay you three 
hundred guineas for your visit, and expects, on your part, 
that you will superintend the performance of your own 
works, of which at least one will be given at every concert. 
It also expects that you will, in the course of your stay in 
England, write a new symphony and a concerto, to be per- 
formed here, but to remain your own property." 

For a concert which it was further proposed that he should 
himself give in London, the sum of live hundred pounds 
sterling was to be guaranteed to him; so that nothing 
could be handsomer than these offers, as Beethoven himself 
acknowledged. But his nephew ! . . . . certain rumors 
with respect to this young man had now become generally 
current ; and the consequence was, that the journey was 
given up, and the hopes of the Londoners, to see among 
them their long-established favorite, Beethoven, were all 

And now for the following fact, which I hope may be 
considered in all its bearings, and duly estimated by all 
admirers of the great deceased, since it deserves, far more 
than any of those already related, the attention of the 
whole musical world. 

In the beginning of the year 1824, Beethoven received 
from a Russian prince his first extremely flattering letter, 
with a request that he would write one or two instrumental 
quartettes, and dedicate them to the writer. The terms 
proposed were highly agreeable, the condition being added, 
that the prince should possess both of the works to be com- 

8 tb correspondence with Mr. Neate in the Supplement, No. VUL 


posed for a full year as his sole property, and that, after the 
lapse of thit time only, the master should have a right to 
publish thorn. (This condition, which served to increase 
the loss that he eventually sustained, was not at first agreed 
to by Beethoven, but afterwards punctually fulfilled.) 

This was soon followed by a second letter to the same 
purport : and just as some serpents are said by their glance 
to fascinate their destined prey, did Beethoven, by whom 
adulation was in general totally disregarded, appear intoxi- 
cated by the flatteries of the Russian prince. He abandoned 
the composition of the oratorio by C. Bernard, which was 
already begun, and set about a quartette for Prince Nicholas 
von Galitzin ; but, tefore it was ready, the prince applied for 
a second, and soon after for a third, and found means to 
gain over Beethoven so entirely, that he seemed to think 
no more of the oratorio, of the Tenth Symphony, or even 
of a work which he had already planned, and which was to 
be the grand effort of his life, the conclusion of his artisti- 
cal exertions, namely, the setting Gothe's Faust to music.* 
The musical world has to thank this man only that all 
these works, as well as a grand requiem, which the com- 
poser had also projected, remained unwritten ; and for this 
he can never make amends. But let us proceed. The sum 
agreed on for the quartettes, to be written for this princely 
Maecenas, was a hundred and twenty-five ducats. Beetho- 
ven, however, received from St. Petersburg nothing but 
letters filled with questions concerning doubtful or difficult 
passages in these quartettes, to which the fullest and most 
circumstantial replies were immediately despatched ; and it 
would be highly desirable, for the intelligibility of the pieces 
in question, that these answers should be published ; f but 
never did he receive a single ruble. It was not till the month 
af December, in the year 1826, when a long illness had occa- 
sioned him considerable pecuniary embarrassment, that he 
applied to the prince for the stipulated sum, representing 
his distressed situation ; but received no answer. Beetho- 

* Hofrath Rochlitz bad already, in 1822, made him, in the name of M. Hiir- 
lei, a proposal for the composition of Gothe's Faust. 

t One of these answers, in Beethoven's handwriting. I sent, in the year 
1828, to Prof. Marx, in Berlin, for the Berlin Musical Journal, but have never 
een or heard of it since. 


7en wrote again, and at the same time begged the Austrian 
ambassador and the banking-house of Stieglitz at St. Peters- 
burg, in private letters, to make application to the prince. 
At length an answer arrived from the latter, that Prince 
Nicholas von Galitzin had gone to Persia to jcin the army, 
without leaving them any instructions to remit money to 
Beethoven. In this painful situation, Beethoven recollected 
the offer made to him by the London Philharmonic Society, 
and wrote on the subject to Moscheles and Sir George 
Smart. I shall return again to this matter; and in the 
mean time I must be allowed to close this extraordinary 
2ase by observing, that, if Prince Nicholas von Galitzin is 
still living, he can only hope to appease the manes of Beet- 
hoven by paying over this just debt of a hundred and 
twenty-five ducats, either to some charitable institution, or 
to the Bonn committee for the erection of a monument to 
his memory. 

Immediately after the above-mentioned two memorable 
concerts, Beethoven moved into a pleasant house at Pen- 
zing, near Schonbrunn, to which he had taken a fancy, 
connected with which is a characteristic anecdote. The 
house is situated near the River Wien, over which there is 
a bridge for foot-passengers ; and, as the master had become 
an object of great public curiosity, it was not uncommon 
for this bridge to be occupied by a crowd of persons, who 
had posted themselves there, to wait for an opportunity of 
seeing him. This annoyed him so much that he left the 
house in three weeks, and went to Baden. A similar case 
had occurred a year before at Hetzendorf, where he left a 
lodging which he had taken for the summer, and for which 
he had paid in advance four hundred florins, because he 
took offence at the excessive politeness of his landlord. 

In the autumn of the year 1824, Beethoven returned 
from Baden, and for the first time for many years took a 
house in town, that his nephew, who had now left school, 
might be near the university. During this winter (1824-5). 
the master had a severe fit of illness, originating in an 
intestinal disorder: indeed, he had been on bad terms with 
his stomach during his whole life. The eminent physician, 
Dr. Staudenheim, had hi';herto been his medical attendant, 


and often had to remonstrate seriously with his patient, 
though it must be confessed without much effect. Now, 
however, he chose to appoint Dr. Braunhofer, professor at 
the university, to attend him. The winter was passed in 
a state of constant suffering ; and it was not till the spring 
that he began to recover a little, and moved again to Baden, 
his favorite summer residence. 

His mental activity during this whole year extended m 
further than to the composition of the last quartette ; for 
the Russian Maecenas was continually writing flattering 
letters to urge him to its completion. 

The first work undertaken after the illness of the year 
1825 was the Quartette No. 12, with the remarkable adagio, 
" Canzone di ringraziamento in modo lidico, offerta alia 
Divinita da un guarito" 

In the year 1825, Beethoven closed with an offer made 
to him by the brothers Schott, in Mainz, for the purchase 
of his Second Mass and of the Ninth Symphony, after pro- 
posals had been made to him by houses in Berlin, Vienna, 
and Leipzig, which, however, did not suit him. Pursuant 
to this agreement, Beethoven received 

For the Mass in D major, op. 128, 1,000 florins. 

For the Ninth Symphony, op. 125, 600 " 

At the same time, the house at Mainz agreed for the follow- 
ing works of Beethoven's : 

Quatuor, op. 127, for 50 ducats. 

Quatuor, op. 131, for 80 " 

Overture in C major, . . op. 1241 

Opferlied, op. 121 

Bundeslied, op. 122 } 

Arriette to Chloe, . . . op. 128 
Bagatelles for the piano-forte, op. 126 j 

For these five works, Beethoven received the sum of 130 ducats. 

This not inconsiderable sum might have enabled him tc 
replace the amount abstracted from his little fund, and 
to avert many future difficulties, had he not determined to 
consider it as a capital, to be laid out in the purchase of 
public securities, as a provision for his nephew, and not as 
his own property. How far he was in the right we shall 
gee in the sequel 


In the autumn of 1825, Beethoven moved to his last 
lodging, in what is called the Schwarzpanier House, situ- 
ated on the glacis of the suburb of Wahring. It suited 
him well, had plenty of sunshine, and commanded an 
extensive, and, at the same time, agreeable prospect over 
the city and several suburbs. In this abode he passed the 
eventful year 1826, in which his harassed mind was des- 
tined to the hardest and bitterest trial which could be 
imposed upon a man to whom virtue and honor were the 
dearest of all things. 

His adopted nephew, endowed, as I have already remarked, 
with uncommon mental abilities, had, to the great joy of 
his uncle, who brought him up like the child of a nobleman, 
already made considerable progress in his education, and 
Beethoven took no little pride in his success. At the age 
of seventeen, the youth returned to the house of this his 
second father, and, attending only the course of philosophy 
at the university, was released from all the restraints to 
which he was necessarily subject while at school ; for his 
uncle, trusting entirely to his understanding and steadiness, 
granted his nephew all the freedom he desired, which, 
indeed, under the circumstances, he could hardly avoid. It 
would lead us too far to enter into any detail of the obser- 
vations made by his first teachers on a certain turn of mind 
in the boy, which might probably lead him away from the 
right path : it was hoped that this had been corrected in 
his subsequent education. 

This 3 r outh, possessing talents worthy of his renowned 
name, was no sooner in the full enjoyment of his liberty, 
than he fell into an evil course of life, neglected his studies, 
abused the affection and indulgence of his uncle, and was, 
at last, expelled from the university, where even the respect 
universally felt for the name he bore could no longer screen 
him. It would be needless to dwell on the sufferings of 
the great master, before and during this event, which was 
not unexpected. Whoever saw him in this time of trouble 
could not fail to perceive plainly on his features the traces 
of the mortification caused by this dishonor to his name. 

The measure of his sufferings was, however, far from full ; 
and they were increased by the circumstance that there 


were people found who threw the blame of all that had 
happened on the uncle ; and we will not therefore shrink 
from inquiring, in the course of this narrative, whether 
some part of the fault may not indeed be attributable to 

In accordance with the wish of this young man, he was 
now allowed to continue his studies at the Polytechnic 
Institution, and to devote himself to mercantHe pursuits, 
a permission which Beethoven was the more willing to grant, 
since he knew his nephew would, in that institution, be 
under the superintendence of the vice-director, M. Reisser, 
who was his joint-guardian with himself. All attempts to 
bring him again into an honorable course were vain ; on 
the contrary, Beethoven received innumerable proofs that 
he had not only lost all affection, but even all respect, for 
him, and rejected with equal obstinacy advice and entreaty. 
It may now be time to inquire how far the master may 
be considered blamable for the conduct of this youth, 
and by what means the latter forfeited his affection and hia 

When a man undertakes the education of a gifted child, 
possessed by such an excess of love as Beethoven bore to 
his nephew, this alone may prove the source of innumerable 
evils, and become a kind of Pandora's box. Beethoven, in 
the first instance, committed the mistake of granting un- 
bounded confidence to his nephew when a boy ten or twelve 
years of age, though he had often been convicted of false- 
hood and other serious juvenile faults ; and afterwards 
expecting from a lad of sixteen the steadiness of a man, 
and emancipating him in the fullest sense of the term. 
Of these mistakes he now became conscious, but, alas ! too 
late. Beethoven was still more to blame because he could 
not, even in the presence of his nephew, refrain from 
expressing his detestation of the boy's mother, to which he 
gave utterance sometimes in the most violent manner; for- 
bidding him all intercourse with her, utterly regardless of 
the voice of Nature, which, sooner or later, may awaken 
and become its own avenger. 

No sooner was the young man released from the restraints 
f his childhood than he sought out this, in every sense, 


unfortunate mother ; and continued to visit her, although 
he knew that this had been most strictly forbidden by 
Beethoven : and hence arose many painful contests between 
uncle and nephew. 

In these proceedings, though Beethoven may have been 
over-severe towards the mother, he was led to adopt this 
course by the most cogent reasons, founded on antecedent 

There are now lying before me twenty-nine letters, ad- 
dressed by Beethoven to his nephew in the summer of the 
year 1825, dated Baden, and which, with other papers, 
came again into his possession after his nephew's catastrophe 
in August, 1826. They were confided to me and Hofrath 
Von Breuning, at that moment, towards the end of hi? 
earthly career, to which I have adverted in the introduction 
to this work, in order that from their contents a judgment 
might be formed of the line of conduct pursued by the 
uncle towards his nephew, and that he might stand before 
the world acquitted of charges brought against him. I 
now proceed to fulfil the melancholy duty of making some 
faithful extracts from them. 


" I rejoice, my dear son, that you are pleased with your adopted 
sphere of life, and diligent in acquiring what is necessary for it. 
Your handwriting I should not have known again. I myself in- 
deed care only about the sense and signification, but you must now 
endeavor to attain also external elegance. 

" If it is too hard a task for you to come hither, never mind. 
Should it, however, be any way possible, I shall be glad to have in 
my exile some feeling heart about me. I embrace you most cor- 
dially. " Your affectionate father, 



" MAY 18, 1825. 

" It cannot but be becoming in a youth, now nearly nineteen, 
to unite with his cares for his education and future prosperity the 
duty which he owes to his benefactor, to whom he ; s indebted for 
his maintenance. Have I not fulfilled mine towards my poor 
parents, and rejoiced when I was able to assist them ? How dii- 
i'erent has been your conduct towards me I Thoughtless boy, fare- 
well " BEETHOVMC.* 



"MAT, 22, 1826. 

" I have been assured, although hitherto it has been only matte! 
f conjecture, that you have again been carrying on a clandes- 
tine intercourse with your mother. Am I again to experience this 
hateful ingratitude ? Shall the tie between us be severed ? So 
be it then. You will be detested by every impartial person who 
shall hear of your ingratitude. The expressions used by my 
brother, and your own of yesterday, with respect to Dr. S -r, 

must of course be painful to me, since the very reverse of what 
he requires has been decided by the tribunal.* Am I continually 
to be forced to entangle myself in these abominations ? Never 
again ! Is the agreement become burdensome to you ? Be it so, 
in God's name ! I have done my part, and leave you to Provi- 
dence. I do not fear to answer for my conduct before the judg- 
ment-seat of the Almighty. 



" BADEN, MAY 31, 1825. 

" Enough of this 1 Spoiled as you have been, it would do you 
no injury to pay some attention at last to simplicity and truth. I 
have suffered too much from your artifices, and it will be a hard 
matter for me to forget them. Even if I would always submit, 
without murmuring, like an ox to the yoke, if you should behave 
thus towards others, you will never gain the good-will of any 
human creature. God knows all I wish is to be freed from you, 
from this base brother, and from these my worthless relations. 
May God hear my prayer ! for I can never trust you more. 
" Your father, alas ! 

" yet fortunately not your father." 


(In answer to an account of money received.) 

"JUNE, 18/1825. 

" Let us not look further back. It would be 

easy to do so, but it would only be painful for me ; at last it would 
only be ' you are a very good guardian, &c. . . . Were you but 
a little steadier, you would have always acted differently.' 


TUB passage refers to the law-suit with Ids 



"JULY 18, 1825. 

" Dear Son, Only be moderate. Fortune has crowned 
m/ endeavors, but let no mistaken views lead you into embarrass- 
ment. Be candid and exact in the account of your expenses. 
Let the theatre rest for the present. Be ruled by your father, and 
guided by him whose every wish has been invariably directed to- 
wards your moral welfare as well as your worldly prosperity ! Be 
indeed my son. What an unheard-of discord would it be, if you 
were indeed false to me, as some people still maintain ! 



" I am growing thinner and thinner, and am indeed very poorly, 
without having any doctor, or any one to feel for me. If it be 
possible, come to me. But I do not wish to be any hinderance to 
you. I wish I were only sure that the Sunday would be properly 
spent without me. I must learn to give up all. Would that these 
great sacrifices might only bring forth good fruits ! 

" Where am I not injured and wounded V Have no secret 
dealings with my brother. Once for all, have no secrets from me, 
from your affectionate father. If I am angry, ascribe it to my 
anxiety on your account, for you are exposed to much peril. 
Think of my sufferings, and give me no uneasiness. I ought by 
rights to have no fears of this kind; but what have I not 
experienced 1 



" ' Come soon, come soon, come soon.' Be it so. The day 
before yesterday came my Signor Fratello,* and his brother-in-law. 
What a wretched creature ! If Cato, speaking of Ca?sar, ex- 
claimed, ' This man and we,' what shall we say of such a one 
us this? 

" Now, as ever, thine anxious and affectionate Father, 



" SEPTEMBER, 1825. 

" I do not wish that you should come to me on the 14th instant. 
It is better that you should finish your studies. God has never 
yet forsaken me, and some one will be found to close my eyea 

Beothoven'i brother. 


There seems to me indeed to be something pre-ordained in all thai 
has taken place, in which my brother (pseudo) plays a part. J 
know that you have no wish to come to me even afterwards, and 
it is natural that it should be so. Such a sphere as mine is too 

pure for you You need not come on Sundays, either, ibr, 

after such behavior, true harmony and concord can never sub- 
sist ; and what is the use of hypocrisy ? Be. in reality, a better 
man : but use no deceit, no lies ; it will be all the better for your 
moral character in the end. You see your conduct is reflected in 
the mirror of my mind. The kindest remonstrances would be of 
no avail. You will, in either case, be incensed. For the rest, be 
under no apprehension. I will continue my cares for you as usual. 
What troubles do you not occasion me ! Farewell. He who has 
not indeed bestowed on you your life, but the support of that life, 
and what is more than all else, the cultivation of your mind, as a 
father, nay more than that, most fervently implores you to 
keep in the only true path to all that is right and good. 

You faithful, affectionate Father, 


" My dear Son, No more of this : come to my arms, you 
shall not hear one harsh word. For God's sake, do not ruin your- 
self : you shall be received as kindly as ever. As to what is to be 
thought of and done for the future, we will talk it over in a 
friendly manner together. Upon my word of honor, you shall 
hear no reproaches, which, indeed can now do no good. You have 
nothing to expect from me but the most anxious and affectionate 
care for your welfare. Only come, come to the heart of your 



" OCT. 5, 1825. 

" I have just received your letter. I was excessively anxious, 
and had made up my mind to go to-day to Vienna. Thank God, 
it is not necessary. Only be obedient to me, and affection, peace 
of mind, and worldly prosperity, will be our united lot. You will 
enjoy an inward and spiritual, as well as a material existence. 
But let the former be preferred to the latter. 

" A thousand times I embrace and kiss you, not my lost, but 
my new-born son. For you, my restored child, will your affec- 
tionate father ever care. 




OCT. 14, 1825. 

* I inform you in haste, that I will certainly come to-morrow 
morning, even if it should rain : therefore let me be sure of finding 
you. I shall rejoice to see you once more ; and, should some dark 
clouds appear, do not ascribe them to intentional resentment. 
They will be entirely dispersed by the improved behavior you 
have promised, by happiness, based upon sincerity and active 
industry. Who would not rejoice to see the wanderer return 
again to the right path V This happiness I hope to experience. 


These fragments will be sufficient to exhibit Beethoven's 
situation, his state of mind, and his sufferings, as described 
by himself; not less plainly do they serve to show his rela- 
tion to various members of his family. Above all, however, 
we perceive in thest letters the noble, high-minded man ; 
and such was Beet) oven, not only in moments of excite- 
ment, but throughout his whole life. Could I add, in 
reference to the last extract, that Beethoven long enjoyed 
the felicity of seeing his ill-advised nephew, then nineteen 
years old, walking in the paths of virtue and honor, I 
should breathe more freely after the painful emotions ex- 
cited by thus recalling the past, and awakening the remem- 
brance of what I have gone through in witnessing the 
patience with which, for years, the great artist bore his 
cross, the weight of which sometimes bowed him to tta 
ground. Alas ! all this was only the prelude to that catas- 
trophe which was destined to give the death-blow to out 
illustrious master ! 

Notwithstanding all care, attention, and kindness on the 
part of Beethoven * and the joint guardian of this unhappy 
young man, the vice-director of the Potytechnic Institution, 
he again entered the slippery path which he had been pre- 
vailed on to quit ; and when, in August, 1826, he was urged 
to work up many examinations at the Institution, which 
were in arrear, he made an attempt on his life. This 

* That he might not have to charge himself with any neglect, Beethoven, COB 
grary to his custom, remained in town during the summer of 1820. 


attempt failed ; but it placed him as a suicide, according to 
the laws of his country, in the hands of justice. For it is 
presumed that nothing but a want of religion can possibly 
lead to so violent a step : malefactors of this kind are con- 
sequently placed under the care of the civil authorities; 
with a view of promoting the amendment of their religious 

Thus it was with the nephew of Beethoven ; and wher 
the time came, when he was to be again given over to th' 
care of his guardian, it was done with a positive injunction 
on the part of the authorities, to keep him only one day in 
his house, since he was not permitted to remain longer in 
Vienna. This took place towards the end of the month of 
October ; and now it was hard to know what was to be done. 
Johann van Beethoven offered his brother his country-house 
as a temporary residence for his nephew, until Hofrath von 
Breuning should succeed in procuring for the young man a 
commission as cadet in some regiment, since he had now an 
inclination to a military life. After a great deal of trouble, 
M. von Breuning succeeded in interesting Lieutenant Field- 
Marshal Stutterheim for the deeply afflicted Beethoven, 
and he consented to take the nephew into his regiment. 
Out of gratitude, Beethoven dedicated to this officer his 
grand Quartette in C sharp minor. 

The severity of the season, and the incredibly thoughtless 
conduct of which the nephew and the other relations of 
Beethoven were guilty towards him, obliged him to return 
to Vienna. This journey, which in so advanced a period of 
the year, could not be performed in one day, was made in 
an open carriage, because, as Beethoven himself assured me, 
nis brother had refused to trust him with his close one. 

It was necessary to give a brief relation of these occur- 
rences ; for only thus could Beethoven find the defence and 
the justification which he thought necessary, and which he 
will meet with from every sympathetic mind. In fact, in 
the many discussions concerning him, mention was often 
made of this circumstance, without any knowledge of the 
real state of the case, and often with conjectures, which, by 
degrees, might at length assume the shape of a regula/ 
accusatim against him. 


On the 2d of December, 1826, Beethoven, with his 
nephew, returned sick to Vienna ; but it was not till several 
days afterwards that I heard of his situation, or even of his 
arrival. I hastened to him, and, among other details, which 
shocked me much, learned that he had often in vain 
entreated his two former physicians, Drs. Braunhofer and 
Staudenheim, to undertake his case ; the first declining to 
do so, because the distance was too great for him to come ; 
and the second, indeed, promising to come, but not keeping 
his word. A physician was sent to his house, he did not 
know how, or by whom, and who, consequently, knew 
nothing of him or his constitution. When, however, this 
physician (the excellent Dr. Wawruch, clinical professor) 
visited Beethoven's sick-bed, I heard from his own mouth 
how it happened ; and it affords an additional proof that 
this man, belonging to the world and to posterity, was 
abandoned by his nearest relations, who had so much cause 
to be grateful to him, not merely abandoned, indeed, 
but betrayed and sold. Prof. Wawruch related to me that 
he had been sent to Beethoven by the marker at a billiard- 
table at a coffee-house, who being, on account of illness, 
brought to the hospital, had mentioned that some days 
before the nephew of Beethoven had come to the coffee- 
house, where he played at billiards, and commissioned him, 
the marker, to find a physician for his sick uncle; but, 
being extremely unwell at the time, he had not been able 
to do so, and therefore begged the professor to visit Beet- 
hoven, which, entertaining the highest respect for the 
artist, he had immediately done, and had on his arrival still 
found him without medical attendance. It was necessary, 
then, for the marker at a billiard-table to fall sick and be 
taken to the hospital, before the great Beethoven could 
obtain help in time of need ! 

Who would not find his feelings revolted by this disgrace- 
ful fact ? After this, no further explanation can be neces- 
sary to show what were Beethoven's sufferings in his 
deplorable condition, or what was the ultimate cause of 
his early death. 

Before the end of December, the nephew set off to join 
his regiment ; and from that moment it seemed as if the 


uncle had been delivered from his evil genius. He becanw 
more cheerful and resigned to his fate, hoping and expect- 
ing a speedy recovery from his illness to result from the 
care of his physician. His former love for his nephew 
seemed now transformed into bitter hatred ; but before the 
hour arrived which was to sunder every earthly tie, his first 
feelings returned, and he appointed this nephew his sole 

The malady which brought him back to Vienna, on the 
occasion just mentioned, was an inflammation of the lungs, 
soon followed by symptoms of dropsy. These at first Prof. 
Wawruch refused to recognize ; but they increased so rapid- 
ly that it was no longer possible to doubt the nature of the 

On the 18th of December, an operation was found to be 
necessary ; another followed on the 8th of January ; a third 
on the 28th of the same month ; and the fourth on the 27th 
of February, t 

Towards the end of January, Beethoven's former friend, 
the celebrated Dr. Malfatti, was induced, after much sup- 
plication and entreaty, to prescribe for him ; and from this 
time, by the advice of both his medical attendants, he took 
daily, as the only specific, considerable quantities of iced 
punch, by which the vital powers, prostrated by the fre- 
quent operations, were restored to such a degree, that he 
considered himself as perfectly convalescent, threw away 
angrily the volume of Walter Scott, with which he had 
been trying to pass away the time, and exclaiming, " The 
man writes only for money ! " set to work again at a sonata 
for two performers, which he had been writing for Diabelli, 
although the physicians had positively prohibited every 
mental exertion. After the fourth operation, however, even 

* As far as I have been able tolearu, this nephew now holds some civil ap- 
pointment under the Austrian government. It is therefore probable that time, 
circumstances, and mature reflection, have induced him to return to the right 
path, as we must all wish that he should. When we remember, however, the 
evil auspices under which his early education was conducted, we shall be in- 
clined to seek In that period for the original causes of these most painful occur- 
rences, and not be tempted to lift a stone against him, but rather leave him to be 
judged before the tribun il of that Divine Providence who has seen fit to subject 
our immortal composer to the severe trials beneath which be so early sunk. 

* See the Correspondence between Beethoven and the Editor, Supplement, 


iced punch could no longer act as a restorative, although no 
limits were prescribed to its use. From this time he 
declined rapidly. 

During this period of suffering, Beethoven would have 
no one about him but Von Breuning and myself; and when 
we were both unavoidably kept from him by our avoca- 
tions, as indeed generally happened for several hours every 
day, the favorite companion and best nurse of the sick 
artist was Von Breuning's son, a lively and clever boy, 
eleven years old, who, by his freedom from care, and igno- 
rance of the danger in which we knew our friend to be, waa 
frequently better able to raise his spirits than we were. 
Little Gerhard was often warmly thanked by Beethoven for 
his assistance in this way. 

It is now time to give a detailed account of Beethoven's 
letters to London, in which he made an application to the 
Philharmoni-c Society, as these letters have been much 
talked of, and often taken amiss. 

It may, perhaps, be recollected under what circumstances 
Beethoven was compelled, in the year 1823, to encroach on 
his little savings, as well as that the extremely slender 
profit accruing from the two concerts in 1824 had disap- 
pointed his hopes of being able to make up the deficiency 
thus occasioned. How and why the projected journey to 
London in the same year, which afforded such cheering 
pecuniary prospects, was given up, and how he had fool- 
ishly appropriated to his unworthy heir the sum received 
for his last works, without thinking of himself, I have also 
related. To these causes of embarrassment we may add 
the base conduct of the Russian Prince Nicholas von Galit- 
zin, at the time when Beethoven was scarcely able to rise 
from his bed, and had to contend with heavy expenses, 
while he was assured by his physicians that his illness was 
likely to be of long duration, and that he must not think 
of working for a long time to come. 

In addition to all this came the increased expenditure for 
his nephew, for whose maintenance, as his adopted father, 
he was, even by the laws of his country, compelled to 

Thus, sick and harassed} Beethoven found himself 


obliged ei.thei to make use of the only propeiiy he possessed, 
consisting of a few bank-shares, or to apply to his brother 
for assistance. This brother one day, in the presence of 
M. von Breuning and myself, declined letting Beetl:oveii 
have any of his hay, when two physicians had prescribed 
for him a hay vapor-bath ; alleging as an excuse that Itix 
hay was not good enough. Yet this " unbrotherly brother," 
as Beethoven called him, rich as he was, wished to share 
in the little that the composer possessed.* To be obliged 
fco ask assistance from him was, of itself, like a death-blow 
to Beethoven. 

Forgotten by the Viennese, whom his decease first aroused 
from the delirium of the Rossini-fever, and pressed by these 
difficulties, the master remembered an offer made to him 
some years before by the Philharmonic Society, and after 
much hesitation determined to apply, as a first step, by let- 
ter to Moscheles, although quite against my advice and that 
of M. von Breuning, as we foresaw the wrong construction 
that would be put on this letter. On the 22d of February, 
1827, Beethoven wrote on this subject, at the same time to 
Moscheles and to Sir George Smart. 

" My dear Moscheles, I am sure you will not take it amiss, if 
I trouble you, as well as Sir G. Smart, to whom I enclose a letter, 
with a request. The affair is briefly as follows: Some years ago 
the Philharmonic Society in London made a handsome otter to 
give me- a benefit concert. At that time I was not, thank God, in 
a situation to make it necessary to avail myself of this generous 
proposal. But affairs are much altered with me at present, when 
I have been confined three months by a tedious illness, the 
dropsy. Schindler will tell you more about it in a letter accom- 
panying this. You have long known my way of life : you know 
how and by what I live. Writing is at present out of the ques- 
tion, and I might unfortunately become so situated as to be re- 
duced to want. You have not only extensive connections in 
London, but also considerable influence with the Philharmonic So- 
ciety. I beg that you will do what you can to induce them again 
to consider their intention, and put it soon into execution. My 
enclosed letter to Sir George Smart is to the same purport, as well 
as one to Mr. Stumpff, which is already despatched-! I entreat 

* In a letter to Ries. dated the 5th of September, 1823, Beethoven says, " My 
brother Johann, who keeps his carriage, has been trying to draw upon me." 
t Mr. StumpfT, the proprietor of a harp man '.factory in London, presented to 


you to forward this to Sir George, and to unite'with him and mj 
other friends in London to effect this object. Even dictating be- 
comes painful to me, so much exhausted do I feel. Make my 
compliments to your amiable wife, and be assured I shall always 
remain Your friend, 


" Pray answer me soon, in order that I may know if I have any 
tiling to hope." 

On the 14th of March, Beethoven again wrote on this 
subject to Moscheles, earnestly begging his attention to it. 

From this second letter, I make only the following ex- 
tract : 

" On the 27th of February, the operation was performed for the 
fourth time ; and there are evident signs that I must soon submit to 
it again. What is to be the end of it? and what will become of 
me if it lasts much longer ? Mine is indeed a hard fate ; but I 
resign myself to it, only praying that God, in his providence, may so 
ordain, that, whilst I endure this death in life, I may be protected 
from want. I should then have strength enough, let my lot be 
ever so severe, to submit with resignation to the will of the Most 
High. Hummel is here, and has called several times upon me." 

As early as the 1st of March, Moscheles and Mr. Stumpfl' 
had written to inform him of the sensation excited among his 
numerous admirers in London by his first letter ; and the 
former afterwards wrote to the following effect: 

" The Society resolved to express their good-will and lively 
sympathy by requesting your acceptance of one hundred pound's 
sterling (one thousand florins), to provide the necessary comforts 
and conveniences during your illness. This money will be paid 
to your order by Mr. Rau, of the house of Eskeles, either in sepa- 
rate sums, or all at once, as you may desire." 

Moscheles added that the Philharmonic Society was will 
ing to extend their good offices still further, and that Beet- 
hoven had only to write, if he needed their assistance. 

In reply, Beethoven dictated to me, on the 18th of March, 
the following, since he was himself too weak to write : 

Beethoven, the year before, the complete works of Handel, In upwards of forty 
folio volumes, of the rare and costly London edition. lie was more delighted 
with this present than if he had received the Order of the Garter. At the sal 
of his effects, M. Tobias Haslinger bought this work for one hundred florins' 
nd from this It is easy to imagine what prices were paid at that auction for arti- 
cles of lets value. 


" 1 know not bow in words to describe the feelings with which 
I have read yours of the 1 st. I am deeply sensible of the generosi- 
ty with which the Philharmonic Society has almost anticipated 
my request ; and I beg you, my dear Moschf 1 es, to become the or- 
gan through which I may convey my heartfelt thanks for their 
kind sympathy and distinguished liberality. I have found myself 
compelled to apply for the whole sum of one thousand florins, as I 
was just under the unpleasant necessity of raising money, which 
would have occasioned me fresh embarrassment. With regard to the 
concert which the Society intend to arrange for my benefit. I trust 
they will not relinquish that noble design, and beg that they will 
deduct the one hundred pounds which they already have sent me 
from the profits. Should after that any surplus be left, and the 
Society be kindly willing to bestow it upon me, I hope to have it 
in my power to evince my gratitude by composing for them either 
a new symphony, which already lies sketched on my desk, or a 
new overture, or any thing else the Society may preier. May 
Heaven grant me my health soon again, that I may be able to 
prove to the generous English how well I can appreciate their 
sympathy with my melancholy situation 1 Your noble conduct 
can never be forgotten by me ; and I beg you to return my thanks 
in particular to Sir George Smart and Mr. Stumpff. 

" With the highest esteem, yours, 
(Signed) "BEETHOVEN. 

"P.S. Kindest regards to your wife. I have to thank the 
Philharmonic Society and you for a new and most amiable friend 
in M. Rau.* 

" I beg you to transmit the subjoined metronomic list of my 
Ninth Symphony to the Philharmonic Society: 

Allegro ma non troppo . . . . . 88 = f 

Molto vivace 116 =^ 

Presto 116 =(^ 

Adagio primo 60 = f 

Andante moderate 63 = P 

Finale presto 96 =f > 

Allegro ma non troppo 88==f 

Allegro asaai 80 = f 

Alia marcia . . . . . . . . 8i =* 

Andante maestoso . . . . . . 72 =F 

* ThJs gentleman, my particular friend, was for many years attached to the 
house of Baron von Eskeles, at. Vienna, as tutor and companion to his only BOD 
The reader will find some letters from him in the Supplement, No. XH. KD. 


Adagio divoto 60 =f^ 

Allegro energico 84 =s 7 

Allegro ma non tanto 120 =f 

Prestissimo. ....... 132=^ 

Maestoso 60 =f" 

From my own letter to Moscheles, dated the 24th of 
March, accompanying the above from Beethoven, written 
with a view to prepare his friends in London for the ap- 
proaching death of this great man, I shall make the follow- 
ing extract, since it belongs, no less than the former, to the 
history of his life. 

..." The letter addressed to you, and dated the 18th, was 
dictated word for word by himself, and is probably his last. To- 
day he whispered to me, ' Write to Smart and Stumpff.' Should 
it be possible for him to sign these letters, it shall be done to-mor- 

" He is conscious of his approaching end ; for yesterday he said 
to me and Breuning, ' Plaudit 'e amid, Comcedia finita est'^ 

" The last few days have been memorable ones. He sees the 
approach of death with the most perfect tranquillity of soul and 
real Socratic wisdom. Yesterday we were so fortunate as to finish 
the business of the wilLJ Three days after the receipt of your 
last, he was much excited, and would have his sketch of the Tenth 
Symphony brought to him, concerning the plan of which he talked 
to me a great deal. It was destined for the Philharmonic Society ; 
and, according to the form which it assumed in his morbid ima- 
gination, it was to be a musical leviathan, compared with which his 
other grand symphonies would be merely trifling performances." 

On the 18th of March, Beethoven begged me to attend 
to the dedication of his last quartette, and to choose for this 

* It was not possible ; and I therefore complied with his desire immediately 
fter his decease, and conveyed his thanks to these two worthy men. 

f Beethoven would have designated his career more accurately had he said, 
drama finitum est, 

\ It is worthy of mention, that Beethoven for several weeks obstinately re- 
jected the advice of Dr. Bach and myself, to place the property to be left for hla 
nephew in the hands of trustees, till he should attain his majority, for which 
there existed the most urgent reasons. He wished, that, after his death, his heir 
should come into the immediate possession of it, and dispose of it just as he 
pleased. It was not till after he had received the plainest proofs of the Indiffer- 
ence of this heir to his misfortunes, since he often left Beethoven's letters for 
weeks together unanswered, that he agreed to our proposal, and accordingly 
wrote with his own hand his will, consisting of but three Hues, by which, 
lifter the death of his nephew, the property was to devolve to his natural 


mark of respect one of his worthiest friends. As I knew 
this compliment to be well deserved by M. Johann Wolf- 
mayer, a merchant of Vienna, most highly esteemed by 
Beethoven in the latter days of his life, and that he was 
frequently occupied by considering in what way he could 
manifest his gratitude to him, I sent the name of this 
gentleman, after the decease of Beethoven, to Messrs. 
Schott. in Mainz, the publishers of the above-mentioned 
work, with a request that it might be dedicated to him. 
This fact is sufficient to prove how anxious Beethoven was, 
even to his latest breath, to show himself grateful to his 
friends and benefactors ; and had he been able, he would, 
in his last moments, have expressed himself more decidedly 
with respect to this dedication. 

On the payment of the thousand florins by M. Rau, 
Beethoven had still one hundred florins in ready money, 
which was sufficient for the expenses of the latter days of 
his life ; and from the above sum, therefore, only a small 
part was deducted for the expenses of the funeral. The re- 
mainder of this sum should have been, according to the 
letter of Mr. Moscheles of the 1st of March, returned to 
the Philharmonic Society, since it was specially destined to 
provide for the comfort of Beethoven, but they did not 
wish it to fall into the hands of his unworthy relatives. At 
the legal inventory, taken after Beethoven's death, however, 
this money fell into the hands of the authorities; but Dr. 
Bach, whom he had, while living, appointed his executor, 
assigned reasons for opposing its delivery, which, in conse- 
quence, was not insisted upon. 

According to the account rendered by Dr. Bach, the 
entire amount of property, including the produce of 
the sale of furniture, music, and seven bank-shares, florin*, 
amounted to 10,232 

From this were to be deducted for the illness, funeral, and 

legal expenses, 1,213 

So that there was a net remainder of . . . * 9,01 9 

Dr. Bach accompanied this account with a remark, in 
which I fully concur, that the amount of the property was 

* This will be more fully elucidated by M. llau's letters. See Supplement, 
We. XII.- ED. 


out of all proportion to the deserts of the great man by 
tvhom it was left, and might throw an unfavorable light 
upon his contemporaries, were it not susceptible of explana- 
tion, from the character and opinions of the master, who 
thought only of his art, and left to others the consideration 
of the profit to be derived from it. 

Symptoms of a speedy termination to Beethoven's suf- 
ferings appeared early on the 24th of March, after the holy 
sacrament for the dying had been administered at his own 
desire, and received by him with true devotion. The first 
symptoms of approaching dissolution manifested themselves 
about one o'clock on the same day. A most terrible stiug- 
gle between life and death now began, and continued with- 
out intermission till the 26th, when, a quarter before six in 
the evening, the great composer breathed his last, during a 
tremendous hail-storm, aged fifty-six years, three months, 
and nine days. 

I am not so fortunate as to be able to say that it was I 
who closed the eyes of the artist who belongs to the latest 
posterity ; neither was it M. von Breuning : for we had 
gone, on the afternoon in question, to the burial-ground be- 
longing to the village of Wahring, to provide a suitable 
place of interment, and were prevented from returning by 
the violence of the storm. The person who had to render 
him this last service was M. Anselm Hiittenbrenner, from 
Gratz, in Styria, favorably known as a composer, who had 
hastened to Vienna, that he might see Beethoven once 
more. He fulfilled, therefore, this sacred duty in our stead ; 
and when we entered the chamber, we were told, " It is all 
over ! " and we returned thanks to God that his sufferings 
were at an end. 

The arrangements for the funeral were made by M. 
von Breuning and myself, in conjunction with M. Tobias 
Haslinger, who was so obliging as to superintend the music 
to be performed at the ceremony, which took place on the 
afternoon of the 29th. The procession was followed from 
the abode of the great deceased to the parish church of the 
Alster-suburb (where the service was performed) by at least 
twenty thousand persons.* 

* For an account of the funeral, see Supplement, No. lfl- 


Since it would not be uninteresting to many admirers of 
Beethoven to learn the conformation of his skull, and tba 
state in which the organs of hearing were found, I insert 
the following particulars from the report made after the 
dissection of the body by Dr. Johann Wagner. "The 
auditory nerves were shrivelled and marrowless, the arteries 
running along them stretched as if over a crow-quill, and 
knotty. The left auditory nerve, which was much thinner 
than the other, ran with three very narrow grayish streaks ; 
the right, with a thicker white one, out of the fourth cavity 
of the brain, which was in this part of a much firmer con- 
sistence and more filled with blood than in the rest. The 
circumvolutions of the brain, which was soft and watery, 
appeared twice as deep as usual, and much more numerous. 
The skull was throughout very compact, and about half an 
inch thick." 

A few days after the funeral, M. von Breuning received 
a notice from the wife of the sexton of Wahring, that a 
considerable sum had been offered to her husband if he 
would bring the head of Beethoven to a place specified 
in Vienna. M. von Breuning, thinking that this informa- 
tion might originate in a mercenary motive of the sexton's, 
offered him money, which he, however, refused, assuring M. 
von Breuning that the intimation he had sent was nothing 
but the truth. On this account, M. von Breuning had the 
grave watched every night for some time. 



[r tended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas. Causes for his re 
linqulshingthe Design. Project of an Edition of his Complete Works. 
Visionary Hopes excited by it. Metamorphosis of Beethoven's Instrumental 
Music. Importance of a Right Conception of the Tempo. Metronomic 
Signs. Injury done to Beethoven's Music by Metronomizing. Exempli- 
fied in the Moonlight Sonata. Metronomic Directions condemned. Per- 
formance of Beethoven's Works in Paris. Hints furnished by Beethoven 
relative to the Composition of his Sonatas, and the Proper Style of their 
Performance. His own Style of Playing. Effects intended to be given bi 
him to his Symphonies. Neglect of nis Works. 

IN the year 1816, Beethoven was prevailed upon, after 
repeated entreaties, to make arrangements for the publica- 
tion of a complete edition of all his piano-forti sonatas. 
His determination to undertake this task was influenced by 
the consideration of three important, and, indeed, necessary 
objects; viz., 1st, To indicate the poetic ideas which form 
the groundwork of many of those sonatas, thereby facili- 
tating the comprehension of the music, and determining 
the st3 r le of its performance ; 2dly, To adapt all his pre- 
viously published piano-forte compositions to the extended 
scale of the piano-forte of six and a half octaves ; and. 3dly, 
To define the nature of musical declamation. 

On this last topic, Beethoven went beyond the generally 
received idea. He maintained that poetical and musical 
declamation were subject to the same rules. " Though the 

* This part properly belongs to the historical section of the Biography, of 
which it forms the completion. But as its incorporation with the historical 
matter would frequently nave occasioned an interruption of the narrative, I lmvn 
thought it better to make the exclusively musical part of the work the subject of 
distinct section. 


poet," he used to say, " carries on his monologue, or dialogue, 
in a progressively marked rhythm, yet the declaimer, for the 
more accurate elucidation of the sense, must make caesuras 
and pauses in places where the poet could not venture on 
any interpunctuation. To this extent, then, is this style of 
declaiming applicable to music ; and it is only to be modified 
according to the number of persons co-operating in the per- 
formance of a musical composition." 

Of this principle, Beethoven intended to make a practical 
ipplication in the new edition of his works, according as 
the subjects might require, and space permit, such illustra- 
tion ; and it may be confidently assumed that Beethoven's 
musical compositions would thereby have formed a new era. 

'touching the poetic idea, it is well known that Beetho- 
ven did not, in his musical writings, confine himself to the 
rules established by preceding composers, and that he, in- 
deed, frequently disregarded those rules when the existing 
idea on which he worked demanded another sort of treat- 
ment, or rather an entirely new mode of development. This 
style of composition adopted by Beethoven has frequently 
called forth the remark, that his sonatas are mere operas in 

Ries, in his " Notices " (p. 77), observes, that " Beethoven, 
in composing, frequently imagined for himself a definite 
subject ; " which is merely saying, that Beethoven imbued 
his mind with poetic ideas, and under the influence of their 
inspiration his musical compositions were created. 

That the great master did not execute the important 
task he undertook in 1816 was, it must be acknowledged, 
an irreparable loss to the musical art, and in particular 
to his own music. How much would the "Pastoral Sym- 
phony" suffer, or even the "Eroica," if heard without any 
comprehension of the ideas which the composer adopted 
as his themes ! How gratifying both to performer and 
hearer is the light cast on the design of the compo- 
sition, by the mere hint of the sentiments Beethoven 
has, in his Sonata, Op. 81, thus expressed: " Les 
adieux," " L' absence," and " Le retour"* 

*In like manner, Clement! has characterized his Grand Sonata, No. 3, Op 
W. Havlny ttken hi Ideas from the History of Dido, he illustrated his compo 


The circumstances which caused Beethoven to relin- 
quish his design of publishing the new edition of hia 
onatas, were, 1st, the uneasy state of mind into which 
he was thrown by the lawsuit commenced between him 
and his sister-in-law ; and, 2dly, the impossibility of coming 
to a satisfactory arrangement with Hofmeister, the music- 
dealer in Leipzig, who was to publish the work. From 
Beethoven's cori-espondence with A. Diabelli, who was his 
confidential adviser on this subject, I perceive that the com- 
poser wished the publication to be brought out in parts, 
each part to contain two of the old sonatas, and one 
recently composed. For each of these new productions, 
taken one with another, Beethoven required the remu- 
neration of forty ducats. Hofmeister, on the other hand, 
proposed to pay the composer at the rate of one ducat 
per sheet. 

I once asked Beethoven why he had not affixed to 
the different movements of his sonatas an explanation 
of the poetic ideas they expressed, so that these ideas 
might at once present themselves to the mind of the 
intelligent hearer. His answer was, that the age in 
which he composed his sonatas was more poetic than the 
present* (1823), and that at the former period such 
explanations would have been superfluous. "At that 
time " (continued he), " every one perceived that the 
'Largo' in the Third Sonata in D, Op. 10, painted the 


rition by the superscription, "Didone abbandonnata Scena tragica;" an6 
besides. In the course of the work, not only the different movements, but also 
single passages, are rendered intelligible by particular superscriptions. It IN 
truly unpardonable that this noble work, deserving to be ranked on a level with 
Beethoven's sonatas, should be unknown to most of the piano-forte pliiyers of 
the present day. In the judgment of modern musicians and dilettanti, Clement! 
belongs to the old school; but I may here take the opportunity of recording 
Beethoven's opinion of him. Among all the masters who have written for the 
piano-forte, Beethoven assigned to Clement! the verv foremost rank. He con- 
sidered his works excellent as studies for practice, for the formation of a pure 
taste, and as truly beautiful subjects for performance. Beethoven used to say 
' They who thoroughly study Clementi, at the same time make themselves ac- 
quainted with Mozart and other composers; but the converse is not the fact." 

* With few exceptions, the sonatas were all composed at the two periods a} 
'.uded to. 


feelings of a grief-stricken mind, with the varying tints 
in the light and shade, in the picture of melancholy in 
all its phases : there was then no need of a^fiy to explain 
the meaning of the music. So in the two sonatas, Op. 
14, every one, at the time when they were composed, imme- 
diately recognized the conflict of two principles, or a dia- 
logue between two persons, exactly as is intended in the 
treatment of the subject," &c. On another occasion, I 
requested him to furnish me with the keys to two sonatas, 
that in F minor, Op. 57, and that in D minor, Op, 29. 
His answer was, " Bead Shakspeare's Tempest." 

In 1823, Beethoven was more earnestly disposed than 
he had previously been to superintend an edition of his 
entire works, including the symphonies. He received 
proposals from publishers in all parts of the continent, 
accompanied by advantageous conditions. That he did 
not then come to an arrangement which would have ena- 
bled him to enter upon this undertaking, was the fault 
of his brother Johaun, to whom none of the proposed 
terms appeared sufficiently liberal. He suggested 'to 
Beethoven the idea of bringing out the publication on his 
own account, showing, by calculations on paper, the vast 
profits which would accrue from the speculation. M. 
Andreas Streicher cordially seconded the recommendation 
of this mode of publishing ; but he differed somewhat from 
Beethoven's brother in his estimate of the profits. The 
documents of a lawsuit some centuries ago would not have 
composed a more bulky volume than did the manuscripts, 
occupied with the calculations made, the consultations held, 
and the determinations formed, during the agitation of this 
publishing scheme. But the parties engaged in these dis- 
cussions and decisions forgot that they had to deal with the 
irresolute Beethoven, who, whenever business was the ques- 
tion, would be for one thing to-day and another to-morrow ; 
and against whose expressed wish it was often necessary 
to do many things for his advantage. The mere prospect 
of great sums of money (though seen only on paper) cap- 
tivated Beethoven ; and he began to indulge in dreams 
of bettered circumstances, of living in elegant style, and 
keeping his carriage and horses. He was so elated by 


these pleasing illusions that he began to fancy himself al- 
ready rich, an idea not calculated to dispose his mind to 
the gigantic labor then in contemplation.* Never were the 
visits of him whom he called his "pseudo-brother" so wel- 
come as at this time. Beethoven often accompanied his 
brother in a carriage airing; and, on one occasion, an effort 
of patience enabled him to go with his brother's family on 
a drive to the Prater. Assuredly no event could seem too 
improbable for belief, after two such heterogeneous ele- 
ments as the " Gutsbesitzer " (land-owner) and the "Hirn- 
besitzer" (brain-owner) had been seen riding together in 
the same carriage.f 

In these visionary hopes of fortune so readily indulged 
by the great Beethoven, it is easy to recognize the youth 
whose character is summarily sketched in the Second Pe- 
riod. To be rich, or at least in easy circumstances; to 
ride in his carriage; to be no longer obliged to stroll 
through fields and meadows to collect ideas and compose 
for the sake of earning a livelihood, such was the flatter- 
ing picture he loved to draw, and the contemplation of 
which often made him descend from his lofty heaven of art 
to cling eagerly to more earthly objects ; and then sublime 
poetry was suddenly metamorphosed into common prose. 
But, thanks to the blundering management of his advisers. 
Beethoven remained poor ! Made rich, by any means 
whatsoever, he would probably have been little disposed to 
make great sacrifices for art in the vigor of life ; at all 
events, he would not have applied himself very laboriously 
:o study, had he been in the enjoyment of any considerable 
share of the good things of this world. 

As, however, it is not always our own wisdom chat 
prompts to great objects, and brings, as it were, light out 
of darkness, so the stupid perversity which dictated the 
arrangements for the projected new edition of Beethoven's 
works probably conferred a benefit on musical art. To 
speak more plainly, in the discussions on this publishing 

* The happy state of feeling by which Beethoven was at this time animated 
Inspired him with the idea of setting to music, with full orchestral parts, Schil- 
ler's " Lied an die Freude." 

t The reader will recollect an anecdote of Beethoven and his brother, relativa 
to a circumstance which occurred on New Year's Day, 1823, together with th 
New Tear's Day card. 


plan, the great master did not limit his attention to th 
mere business part of the question, the details of which, 
though on every occasion fresh-painted in glowing colors, 
often disgusted him. Then would he look upon the getting- 
up of the work, the dull material, as mere dust in the 
balance; whilst to exercise his musical art to him the 
spiritual part of the enterprise wholly occupied his ima- 
gination. When this feeling happened to prevail, he would 
describe to all who chanced to be near him the improve- 
ments he proposed to make in reference to the subject, 
conception, and execution in many of his early works. 
Some of these improvements owe their birth to a jocose 
observation made by Dr. Bach at one of the conferences 
held on the subject of the publication. Beethoven declared 
that many of his works did not admit of the slightest altera- 
tion, and that, consequently, in reference to them he could 
not establish any right of property in a second edition. 
Dr. Bach replied, "That the right would be sufficiently 
established by making the composition commence with the 
accented instead of the unaccented part of a bar, and vice 
versa ; and further, by changing white notes into black and 
black into white." This remark, intended purely in jest, 
inspired Beethoven with a thousand new ideas, and gave 
an impulse to his fancy, the results of which soon after sup- 
plied the master-keys of many of his greatest works.* 

Beethoven, who knew my antipathy to accounts, did not 
trouble me with any of those pecuniary calculations, which 
indeed were to himself not much more intelligible than 
hieroglyphics. He consulted me only on the artistical part 
of the all-important question, was he to grow rich, or 
remain poor ? I often thought that he might have read in 
my soul the answer which told him what was best for his 
own interest, and that of the world of art. For my part, I 
never had a doubt as to the course which was most advisa- 
ble for him to adopt ; but I did not wish to awaken him too 
early from a dream which I well knew would speedily be 

*This calls to mind the fact related by Hies, in his Notizen (p. 107). in refer- 
ence to the direction he received, when in London, from Beethoven : "At the 
commencement of the adagio in the Sonata, Op. 108, plaee these two notes foi 
the first bar." Hies e (presses great astonishment at the effect proluced by thi 
two note*. 


succeeded by others. I, however, turned to useful account 
the conversations I had with Beethoven on this topic ; for I 
carefully noted down all the remarks he made on his works, 
in reference to subject, conception, and performance. These 
remarks came to me the more opportunely, as I was then 
employed in the orchestra of the Josephstadt Theatre to 
lead several of his symphonies, each of which he previously 
went over with me at home, strongly impressing on my 
attention whatever had reference to those three essential 
points ; thus initiating me into the soul and spirit of hia 
orchestral compositions, as he had already introduced me to 
a just comprehension of nearly the whole of his piano-forte 
sonatas. These are instances of good fortune which few 
have had the happiness to enjoy. 

The new perceptions thus acquired were to me an intel- 
lectual property, which I have ever since regarded as the 
dearest and most inestimable legacy of my immortal friend 
and instructor. They have imparted, not only to myself, 
but to others, whom, for their kindred feeling for Beetho- 
ven's music, I thought worthy of a participation in my good 
fortune a thousand pleasurable sensations and exalted 
enjoyments which nothing else in the whole domain of 
music could have power to create ; for it has already been 
remarked, that Beethoven's collected chamber-music, and 
especially the greater part of his piano-forte sonatas, com- 
prised a fund of musical poetry more deep and inexhausti- 
ble than canbe found even in his other works. That Nature 
is chary in her gifts of that organization which possesses the 
susceptibility necessary for appreciating such elevated com- 
positions, is not the fault of Beethoven. That fact serves 
only to confirm the truth of the maxim, that in art the 
great is not for all, and all are not for the great.* 

* That this maxim admits, in our unpoetlc and superficial age, of a much 
more extended application than it did in former times, must be with regret 
acknowledged by every unprejudiced observer of the modern phenomena in the 
region of art. Twenty or thirty years ago, great musical talent, enjoying the 
good fortune of being directed by able instruction, might easily have attained 
the highest degree of cultivation, there being then no reason to fear those seduc- 
tive and slippery paths of the musical career, whereby distinguished talent is 
now so often led astray. A period not yet more remote than twenty or thirty 
years ago was favorable to the development of faculties like those of thn 
Countess Sidonie of Brunswick, in Pesth, of whom mention has been made in 
the Socond Period. The present age repeats with enthusiasm the name oi 


Ill the year 1831, when I wrote the musical notices theu 
inserted in the supplement to the "Wiener Thealer Zeitung," 
I alluded in No. 2 of those notices to Beethoven's Sympho- 
ny in A major. In that article, I casually mentioned that 
Beethoven intended to give the keys to many of his instru- 
mental compositions, in the manner of the Pastoral Sym- 
phony. The impression produced by this article was 
precisely such as was to be expected: it excited a mere 
transitory sensation, and was soon forgotten, like every thing 
which departs from the boundaries of common routine, and 
approaches the region of ideality. Several years have elapsed 
since that time : I am so much the older, and so much the 
less vain, and I am now the better enabled to see how fre- 
quently well-meant observations nay, positive truths 
are disregarded, even when they come from high authority. 
Of course, the actual authority in this instance was Beetho- 
ven alone. It has already been shown, in the narrative of 
his life, how he was prevented from executing this as well 
as many other important undertakings which he hacl 
planned. If I now venture to publish some of the remarks 
which I noted down from his own mouth, in reference to 
the subject, conception, and performance of his works, or 
try to describe some of the vivid impressions which his 
instructions have left on my mind, I do so in the just 
expectation that the value of these communications will bo 
first tried and afterwards judged. I do not apprehend that 
I can in any degree be accused of arrogant pretension in 
taking upon myself the performance of this task, because 
it is known to many persons, that, in my intimate relations 

" Clara Wieck," * who for versatility of talent will not easily find a rival among 
her own sei. But talent which is to be judged by the tribunal of public opinion, 
if it do not render homage to the taste of the age, must at least show deference 
to It, and thereby lose its genuine artistical purity. This purity of tasle is to 
be looked for only in dilettanti, who always keep in view the ideal beauty of 
pure unperverted truth of feeling, because their talents are exercised only in 
small circle of musical friends of their own choice. Such persons, however, 
always remain mere dilettanti, as they do not cease to fulfil those duties which 
their domestic or other social relations demand, and which, by a prudent distri- 
bution of time, are easily rendered compatible with study in any situation in 
life. It is only on these conditions that their efforts in art, when they rise fat 
above the common level, will win the admiration and approval of all truly cul- 
tivated artists. 



with Beethoven, daring the most important interval of hia 
life, I must necessarily have become possessed of many 
important facts : it will also be recollected, that, though 
thirteen years have elapsed since his death, I have not been 
prompted by any feeling of ostentation to communicate 
those facts to the public. To speak candidly, I should not 
even now think of parting with any portion of my friend's 
intellectual legacy, were it not from the firm conviction that 
the present is the right moment for so doing ; for the sen- 
sual music of the day, and the overstretched mechanical 
dexterity of modern piano-forte playing, bid fair to thrust 
the intellectual compositions of Beethoven into the shade, 
if not to consign them entirely to oblivion.* Moreover, it 
must be borne in mind that Beethoven's instrumental music 
has undergone a metamorphosis, occasioned in some meas- 
ure by the composer himself, but chiefly by the spirit of 
the age, which is daringly opposed to every thing great and 
elevated, and even hesitates not to profane that which is 
most sacred. 

With respect to Beethoven's share in the metamorphosis 
of his instrumental music, and particularly of his sympho- 
nies, it is necessary first to acquaint the reader, that this 
metamorphosis relates wholly and solely to m economising, 
or the regulation of time by means of the metronome. 

Those who have read Matheson's " Vollkommener Kapell- 
meister" are aware that that great writer on music laid 
down, a century ago, the following principle : f "That the 
tempo of a great musical composition depends on the man- 
ner in which it is set for orchestra and chorus ; for the 
greater the number of singers and players, the slower 
should be the tempo, on the simple principle that masses 
always move slowly." If intelligibility be the most essen- 

* So far as my observation goes, it inclines me to dissent from this opinion. 
Not only are. the new editions of Beethoven's works substantial evidences that 
his magnificent and various talent finds an increasing number of worshippers 
among the amateurs of Europe, but there are fow of the distinguished solo 
players of the day, who do not seek to recommend themselves by acquaintance 
with his music, and public and private performances of it. In new countries 
and circles, moreover, is the taste for it rapidly spreading : I may instance Lon- 
don and Paris, where it is now deeply studied by the profession, and eagerly 
cought after by the public. ED. 

f Matheson'a " Vollkommener Kapell-meister " was published at Hamburgh, 
In 1730. 


tial condition iu the performance of a musical composition, 
it is'self-evident that the direction for the tempo can only 
be conditional ; and that, consequently, an Allegro vivace, 
with an orchestra of nine hundred and twenty performers, 
must become very considerably modified from the same Alle- 
gro vivace originally metronomized by the composer for an 
orchestra of sixty. That which, in the latter case, is, as it 
were, a condition of the intended effect, ceases to be such 
iu the former case, because the object may already be 
obtained, a priori, through the two-fold power being com- 
municated. The fuller orchestra should therefore take a 
less rapid time than that specified for the more limited 
number of performers. 

Unluckily this important principle in the conducting of 
an orchestra is but too seldom recognized, even by those 
who are regarded as authorities in orchestral direction. I 
have had frequent occasion to remark this neglect, occa- 
sioned by ignorance in the performance of Beethoven's 
works ; and in those cases the effect was, of course, a true 
offspring of the cause, and exhibited a total misconception 
of the real spirit of the compositions. To perform Betho- 
ven's music, without regard to meaning and clearness, is 
hunting to death the ideas of the immortal composer. This 
mode of performance naturally arises out of the manifest 
ignorance of the sublime spirit of those works. It is at the 
same time the cause of their profanation, and consequently 
of their having too soon fallen into disuse ; for the dignity 
and deep expression of many of the movements are sacri- 
ficed when a moderate rhythm is converted into the rhythm 
of dancing-time, especially if to this accelerated time be 
added the clang of a superabundant number of instruments. 
Hence may be traced the principal cause of that metamor- 
phosis which suffices to convert a composition of lofty po- 
etic feeling into a common prosaic piece,* a transforma- 
tion which the performers may literally be said to work out 

* There is so much intrinsic spirit and value in Beethoven's orchestral works, 
that it is beyond the power of occasional mistakes or exaggerations in tempo, on 
the part of the players, to convert them into common prose. In England, cer- 
tain movements are frequently taken too slow in France, others too quick, 
ccording to my recollection of the tempo as given to the orchestra by the com- 
poser wken he conducted, still -without the metamorphosis taking place. 


by tb.3 sweat of the brow. Such a perverted mode of exe 
cution must render it impossible for the most attentive lis- 
tener to feel the sublimity of the composer's idea.* 

Beethoven lived to see this transformation of his works. 
On one occasion, when he was present at a performance of 
his Symphony in A major, by the orchestra of the great 
music meeting in Vienna, he was very much displeased at 
the too rapid time taken in the second movement, the Alle- 
gretto. However, upon reflection, he acknowledged that 
the conductor had duly observed the metronomic sign af- 
fixed to the movement, but that he had not attended to 
Matheson's doctrine. In one of the musical articles which 
I wrote for " The Wiener Theatre Zeitung," in alluding to 
the Symphony in A major, I related the above fact in the 
following words : " At a performance of this symphony, in 
the latter years of Beethoven, the composer remarked, with 
displeasure, that the allegretto movement was given much 
too fast, by which its character was entirely destroyed. He 
thought to obviate for the future all misconception of the 
tempo, by marking the movement by the words Andante, 
quasi Allegretto, with the metronomic sign f = 80. ; and I 
find a memorandum to this effect in his note-book, which 
is iu my possession. Beethoven complained generally of 
the misunderstanding of the tempi at the concerts of the 
great Vienna Musical Society, and especially that the task 
of principal conductorship on those occasions was always 
consigned to the hands of dilettanti, who were unused to 
direct and govern large masses of performers. These 
causes of dissatisfaction led Beethoven one day to make the 
important declaration, that he had not composed his sym- 
phonies for such vast orchestras as that usually assembled 
for the Vienna Musical Society ; f and that it never was his 

* The reader may deem it not uninteresting to be made acquainted with Mo- 
zart's opinion with reference to the unsatisfactory manner in which hia compo- 
sitions were sometimes performed. In the Biography published by H. von 
Nissen and Mozart's widow, we find, at p. 27, the following passage : " Mozart 
complained bitterly of the injury which his compositions frequently s stainol 
by faulty performance, especially by a too great acceleration of the tempo They 
think that this rapidity imparts fire to the composition ; but truly if then, is not 
fire in the music itself, it can never be galloped into it." (These weie Mczart'i 
uwn words.) 

t The structure and extent of the hall of the great Imperial Ridotto at Vien 
na, in which the concerts of the Musical Society are held, renders a powerfu 
orchestra necessary. 


intention x> write noisy music. He added, that his instru- 
mental works required an orchestra of about sixty perform- 
ers only ; for he was convinced that it was hy such an 
orchestra alone that the rapidly-changing shades of expres- 
sion could be adequately given, and the character and poetic 
subject of each movement duly preserved.* That this dec- 
laration was dictated by sincere conviction will be readily 
admitted when I acquaint the reader that Beethoven was 
anxious to have his works performed in their true spirit, at 
the Concerts Spirituels, the orchestra of which contained 
something like the number of performers he had specified ; 
and that he did not interest himself about their perform- 
ance at the great music meeting. If double the amount of 
sixty performers displeased Beethoven, what would he have 
said of three or four times that number, no unusual or- 
chestral occurrence at our music-festivals ? What would he 
have said had he heard his symphonies and overtures per- 
formed by an orchestra increased by rep'ieni, the only one 
admissible at oratorios, and in which noise is paramount ? 
Even M. Ries has had the symphonies performed by such 
an orchestra, at the Lower Rhine music-festival : to this I 
was myself on one occasion a witness. Had Beethoven 
been present, he would doubtless have exclaimed, " My dear 
pupil, how little do you understand me ! " A few move- 
ments only of Beethoven's symphonies (for example, the 
last of that in A major, and the last of the Ninth Sympho- 
ny) are suited to an orchestra in which the number of per- 
formers amounts to three or four times sixty. 

His own observations, coupled with accounts received 
from various places, describing the ineffective performance 
of the symphonies in consequence of mistaken ideas of their 
tempi, induced Beethoven, in the winter of 1825-26, to 
investigate the cause of the errors. This he did in my 
presence ; and he ascertained that the metronomic signs in 
the printed scores were faulty, in fixing the tempi too 
quick ; and, indeed, he declared that many of those metro- 
nomic signs were not authorized by him. I may here men- 
tion that the symphonies, from No. 1 to No. 6, inclusive, 

* This was the exact number of performer* on the occasion when hU lynv 
ohoniea were first brought forward. ED. 


were published before the invention of Maelzel's metro- 
nome ; and it is only to the Seventh and Ninth Symphonies 
that the metronomic signs can, with positive certainty, be 
said to have been given by Beethoven. Whether or not he 
metro nomed the Eighth Symphony (the score of which was 
only lately published), I cannot positively determine. I do 
not recollect having heard him speak of metronoming that 
symphony, though a great deal of conversation passed be- 
tween us on the subject of the composition itself. 

The same may be said in reference to his sonatas. Only 
to those published since Maelzel's invention have the met- 
ronomic signs been affixed by Beethoven's own hand. 
These do not exceed four in number; viz., Op. 106, 109, 
110, and 111. Those who have added metronomic indices 
to the other sonatas, in the various editions that have been 
published, prove, by the result of their labor, that they were 
as little acquainted with the spirit of Beethoven's music as 
are the inhabitants of this world with the transactions going 
on in the moon or in Saturn. That piano-forte virtuosi, 
even of the highest rank, should have presumed to act the 
part of interpreters and law-givers in Beethoven's music,* 
is a matter of regret : f and all true admirers of the great 
master, who may wish to form a just notion of his sonatas, 
either as to conception or execution, should be earnestly 
warned not to listen to their performance by any virtuoso 
who has labored all his life on difficult passages, having 

* The metronomic sign may be compared to a paragraph of a code of laws, 
which is cited as an authority for decision in some particular case. The dic- 
tating movement of the metronome facilitates a just comprehension of a musical 
composition. A correct metronomic direction leads the intelligent musician by 
the right path into the spirit of the music ; whilst an erroneous indication of the 
time leads him very far astray in his endeavors to seize that spirit. 

t By way of excepting myself from the sweeping censure here bestowed 
upon all who have attempted to fix the metronomic signs to Beethoven's compo- 
sitions, I hope I may be permitted to state, that in superintending for Messrs. 
Cramer & Co. the new edition of his works, and in metronomizing the several 
compositions, I have not merely listened to my own musical feelings, but been 
guided by my recollections of what I gathered from Beethoven's own playing, 
and that of the Baroness Ertmann, whom I have heard perform many of his works 
tn his presence, and to his entire satisfaction, at the musical meetings alluded to 
by M. Schiudler in this work (p. 73), and at Mr. Zmeskall's. In some of the 
quick movements, I have purposely refrained from giving way to that rapidity 
of piano-forte execution, so largely developed at the present time. It is with 
satisfaction that I add, that the tempi I have ventured to give differ very slightly 
from those affixed to Haslinger's Vienna edition, by Carl Czerny, whom I con 
ider to be a competent authority in the matter. ED. 



only in view to improve the mechanical power of the fin- 
gers ; unless, indeed, it be merely bravura movements ; of 
which, thank Heaven, there are but few among these com- 
positions. Beethoven truly remarked, " that a certain class 
of piano-forte performers seemed to lose intelligence and 
feeling in proportion as they gained dexterity of fingering." 
What can such bravura players make of the melodies of 
Beethoven, so simple yet so profoundly imbued with senti- 
ment? Precisely what Liszt* makes of Schubert's songs, 
what Paganini made of the Cantilena in Rode's concerto, 
and what Kubini makes of Beethoven's " Adelaide." All 
these, it must be acknowledged, are tasteless perversions of 
beautiful originals, violations of truth and right feeling 
in all those points in which such offences can be most sensi- 
bly felt. 

To point out only one example of the injury inflicted on 
Beethoven's music by professional metronoming, I may 
mention the metronomic signs of the two sonatas (Op. 27) 
in the recently published Vienna and London editions ; the 
very sight of them occasions surprise : but to hear these 
sonatas played according to the metronomic signs affixed to 
them leads one to wish that all piano-forte metronomers 
were put under the ban.f But even this is not the only 
cause of complaint against these pervertors of all truth in 
expression. Are they not the very men who by their frivoli- 
ties, romantic and unromantic, have latterly given to the 
taste for truly good and classic composition that unhealthful 
direction which threatens soon to bring all genuine music 
under the dominion of the superficial, if, indeed, it has 
not already submitted to that authority ? Is not their 
handiwork (art, it cannot be called) directed solely to the 
object of pleasing the multitude, and on that account must 
they not descend to the level of vulgar taste ? Since Hum- 
mel's death there perhaps exists not, in Germany especially, 

* Did not M. Schindler, In page 151 of this volume, more duly appreciate the 
merits of Liszt than the reader might infer from the above, I should gladly avail 
myself of this opportunity to do homage to the amazing talent of that artist - 

t I cannot calmly submit to be put under this ban, but rather stand up and 
defend my metronomic signs of the Op. 27, aa well M of all the other* in the edi 
tton. ED. 


liny professor of the piano-forte, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy 
excepted, who, fired by enthusiasm, keeps in view the hon- 
orable object of elevating his hearers to the standard of his 
own high feeling, a duty which Art demands from all her 
devotees, whether professors or dilettanti. 

The Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27 (called the Moon- 
light Sonata), is metronoined as follows in the edition lately 
published by T. Haslinger, of Vienna : 

I. Adagio, f = 60. 
II. Allegretto, f = 84. 
ID. Presto agitato, f = 92. 

In the London edition of Beethoven's piano-forte works, 
edited by J. Moscheles, the same sonata has affixed to it 
the following metronomic directions : 

I. Adagio, f= 60. 
H. Allegretto, f* = 76. 
ITT. Presto agitato, f = 92. 

In the Vienna edition of the Sonata in E flat major, the 
metronomic directions are as follow : 

I. Andante, f =72. 

JI. Allegro, ff* = 116. 
HI. Allegro molto vivace, |.^* = 188. 
IV. Adagio, 5=69. 

V. Finale, allegro vivace, ,*= 160. 

In the London edition, the diiferent movements of th 
Hame sonata are thus marked : 

I. Andante, f = 69. 

n. Allegro, f f * 104. 
HL Allegro molto vivace, \^' = 126. 
IV. Adagio, 5=76. 

V. Finale, allegro vivace, f= 132. 

What a Babel of confusion as to the right feeling, and 
what confusion also in regard to the conception of Beetho- 


yen's sacred legacy to posterity is thus exhibited!* and 
similar inconsistencies are apparent throughout all his 
works in these new editions, f Who does not with deep 
regret feel that such gross neglect amounts almost to pro- 
fanation of the works of the great master? Are, then, 
these divine compositions to be converted into show pieces 
for the performance of professional piano-forte players? 
Nevertheless, I am bound to admit that some of the tempi, 
as marked in the new London edition, approximate more 
nearly to the composer's original intention. 

The fashion of the day tends to preclude any one from 
attempting to play one of Beethoven's sonatas who has not 
for a year together practised the hand and finger-spraining 
exercises of modern performers. What is now-a-days 
thought of a simple allegro, as written by Mozart or Beet- 
hoven ? It is converted into a presto ; and so other move- 
ments are accelerated in gradation. And, truly, this is 
the method whereby the works of these great masters, 
already become antiquated, are accommodated to modern 
taste ! 

It is not yet very long since an assiduous practice of the 
Studies of Aloys Schmidt and of John Cramer used to 
smooth the way of the intelligent pianist to the most 
difficult works of Beethoven ; and, if greater mechanical 
dexterity of fingering was required to make the path more 
secure, the Studies of Hummel, Moscheles, or Kalkbrenner 
were found sufficient. But what would the practice of 

* In this angry denunciation against metronomiztng. M. Schindler goes too 
far. The musical world knows, that marking the time by a metronome is but a 
slight guide for performers and conductors. Its object is to. show the general 
time of a movement, particularly at its commencement; but it is not to be fol- 
lowed strictly throughout; for no piece, except a march or a dance, would have 
any real life and expression, or light and shade, if the solo performer, or the or- 
chestra under its conductor, were strictly to adhere to one and the same tempo. 
without regard to the many marks which command its variations. (See M. 
Schindlcr's own subsequent words on this subject, pp. l.'iO and 151.) The player 
or conductor who enters into the time and spirit of the piece must feel when anil 
>rhere he has to introduce the necessary changes ; and these are often of so deli- 
cate a nature, that the marks of the metronome would become superabundant, 
not to say impossible. This duly considered, the differences in the metronomic 
signs here denounced will be found too trifling to draw forth such animadver- 
sions. ED. 

t In Op. 27, both title and dedication vary from the mode in which they are 
piv'en by the composer. The following are the words written by Beethoven, 
which refer specially to No. 1: ' Sonata quasi Fantasia, detlicata alia Madami 
IC'IU Contessa Giulictta di Guicciardi." 


these exorcises now avail ? * They would not enable the 
student to play the first three Sonatas of Beethoven accord- 
ing to the newest fashion. What, then, it may he asked, 
becomes of feeling and expression which ought to have 
room to develop themselves, so that in certain passages the 
tone may seem, as it were, to sing and reverberate ? Where 
now is feeling, where expression, and, indeed, where 
opportunity for the manifestation of any sensibility ? Let 
Beethoven's piano-forte works be played according to the 
new metronomic directions, and it will soon be perceives 
that no more opportunity is left for feeling and expression 
than the most rapid fingering affords; and that this rule 
extends even to the execution of the adagio. 

In this state of things, the best advice that can be given 
to the piano-forte practitioner is, Shun all metronomic direc- 
tions, be they given by whom they may ; f turn from them 
as you would from the misleading lights of ignes-fatui ; set 
to work with the right spirit and the preliminary knowl- 
edge for the task, and apply to all the works of Beethoven 
the composer's words, "No metronome," &c4 Thus you 
will with certainty attain the wished-for object, and be 
spared the mortification of renouncing your own feelings to * 
substitute those of another in their stead. 

Moreover, while examining the metronomic signs affixed 
to his works by their different editors, Beethoven discovered 
that the metronomes themselves vary one from another ; an 
inconvenience which has been greatly increased since Beet- 
hoven's time, by numerous counterfeits. He perceived, for 
example, that the fourth movement of the Symphony in C 
minor was deprived of all dignity when performed in the 
accelerated time indicated thus f= 8 *. ; and that, in 
the fourth movement of the Symphony in B flat major, the 
metronomic sign was a decided contradiction to the Italian 

* This reasoning seems to me somewhat void of logic, since the same spirit 
which would urge M. Schindler's " most fashionable " piano-forte player to 
exceed the tempi of Beethoven's sonatas, would prompt him also to play the 
above-mentioned Studies with such a degree of celerity as must enable him to be 
prepared for the difficulties, at prestissimo B-eed, of the great master's sonatas 

1 Beethoven himself ? ED. 
I shall presently have occasion to quote a remark of Beethoven'*, in whlclr 
the above words occar 


words, " Allegro ma non tanto ; " whilst the movement, if 
performed in accordance with the metronomic direction, 
would be a mere mass of confusion, such rapid time being 
incompatible with a sufficiently clear and distinct execu- 
tion of the semi-quaver passages by the bow instruments. 
He now saw the necessity of directing his attention to a 
more careful adaptation of the metronomic signs, so as to 
give a slower time to most of the allegro movements. 
But excessive occupation, added to the different strokes of 
adverse fortune which have been detailed in the biograph- 
ical portion of the present work, prevented him from 
entering upon this important task. Besides, he called the 
metronoming a mere " business " matter, and this view of 
the labor tended to increase his distaste for it. The pub- 
lishers of his latter works must be aware how dilatory 
he was in determining the metronomic signs, which were 
frequently obtained from him only after repeated correspon- 
dence. An example of this is proved by his letters of the 
16th and 30th of April, 1819, addressed to M. Bies, in 
London.* Moreover, when it happened that Beethoven 
metronomed the same work twice over, he marked the 
tempi differently each time. A striking example of this 
occurred with respect to the Ninth Symphony, which he 
first metronomized for the publisher, and then several 
months afterwards for the Philharmonic Society of Lon- 
don, f In the latter instance, he made the signs for every 
movement differ from those which he had adopted in the 
former case; making the tempi sometimes quicker and 
sometimes slower ; and when I accidentally found the copy 
of the first metronomizing which he had marked for the 
Messrs. Schott, he answered impatiently, " Better no met- 
ronome ! J He who has correct feeling has no need of it ; 

*" The tempo of the sonata, fixed hy Maelzel's metronome, you shall have 
by next post," says Beethoven, in his letter of the 30th of April. Why not 
have sent it with the manuscript of the music? It was a mechanical occupa- 
tion, and Beethoven was not inclined to turn to it on that day. Unfortunately, 
he was not better disposed to set about it before the departure of the following 

t The reader will recollect Beethoven's letter to Moscheles, dated March 18, 
1827, alluded to in the Third Period. In that letter, he enclosed the metronomic 
signs for the Ninth Symphony, after the symphony to which those signs 
belonged had been some time in London. 

J If BeeU.oven, though acknowledging the useful adaptability of the metro- 
nome, was, nevertheless, frequently undetermined, and, by twice fixing 


and to him who does not possess that feeling, it is equally 
useless, for he runs astray, and the whole oichestra with 
him." This truth is confirmed by frequent experience. If 
it were recognized by every orchestral director, together 
with old Matheson's maxim, the works of Beethoven and 
other great masters would never be brought down from 
their lofty elevation, and we should secure their purity and 
imperishability, which is the common duty of us all.* 

I was much gratified to observe M. Habeneck's judicious 
regulations of time in the performance, under his direction, 
of Beethoven's works at the Conservatory in Paris. An 
impression of the very contrary was conceived by Beetho- 
ven himself ; for, during his life-time, it used to be said, that 
in Parisian orchestras the over-rapid performance of his 
quick movements made them resemble quadrilles and gal- 
lopades. It is however possible, that in France, as in 
Germany, this error may be traced to the incorrect metro- 
nomizing, which was held to be unquestionable authority, 
until M. Habeneck discovered the root of the evil, and 
proved that the Rossinian "effetto! effetto!" was no longer 
to bo held identical with the dignity and grandeur of Beet- 
hoven's poetic music. 

Let us hope that among the musicians of France there 
will speedily arise some few who, unfettered by the bonds 
of fashion, and devoid of egotism, will turn with a pure and 
deeply poetic spirit to the piano-forte works of Beethoven, 
and draw freely from the ever-living waters of that sacred 
well which the Muses have consecrated. Much has already 
been done in France by Franz Liszt, who so thoroughly com- 
prehends the spirit of Beethoven. But the efforts of one 
individual are insufficient for the wide diffusion of impor- 
tant principles. The advantage which may be derived 
from Beethoven's piano-forte compositions is yet almost 
wholly unknown to French pianists, as I have had frequent 

metronomic signs to the same works, contradicted himself, it merely shows 
that he was influenced by the musical feeling of the moment. Another 
proof that two different musicians, like Czerny and myself, could naturally 
hardly fail to deviate slightly in pointing out the tempo of Beethoven's works. 
His saying here quoted, *' Better no metronome I " is no proof that he wished to 
ibolish its use, but that he only feared that it might be insufficient to deterniiiii 
die ratu of movement in its different variations. ED. 
* See my note, p. 142. ED. 


opportunities to observe ; and nothing has so greatly con- 
tributed to create this unfortunate ignorance as the absurdly 
refined mechanism of piano-forte playing, which, years ago, 
Beethoven justly feared would banish all truth of feeling 
from music. In a letter which he addressed to Hies, dated 
July 26, 1823, he alludes to certain " Allegri di Bravura, 
which demand too much mechanism of fingering, and 
therefore he does not admire them." Indeed, the only 
piano-forte compositions of Beethoven which have hith- 
erto obtained attention from the French, and, I may add, 
from most of the German pianists, are such as afford scope 
for the display of mechanical dexterity. Compositions of 
this class being precisely those which are characterized by 
an exuberant freedom of fancy, are inferior in poetic spirit 
to his other piano- forte works. These latter are, however, 
far more difficult to comprehend and to perform than those 
which merely demand a greater degree of digital dexterity. 
That cheval de bataille for fleet-fingered pianists, the 
Sonata, Op. 57, is, of all Beethoven's sonatas (without 
accompaniments), after Op. 30, the only one on which they 
take their full revenge; and I affirm, with a thorough con- 
viction of being correct, that, out of a hundred pianists 
whose talent is swayed by the dominion of fashion, it would 
be difficult to find two who know any thing of these sonatas, 
with the exception of Op. 57. Of the Sonatas, from Op. 
2 to Op. 30 inclusive, there are but few that have the honor 
of being known to the legion of fashionable piano-forte 
players. The gods whom this legion worship have no place 
among the Immortals ; and if we estimate their produc- 
tions by the standard of art, they must be ranked on a level 
with those musical idols of the day whose chief merit is that 
they set the feet of the multitude in motion. 

The limited knowledge of Beethoven's sonatas in Ger- 
many may be attributed to the circumstance of our teachers 
placing those works at too early a period before their pupils. 
They forget that, for a due comprehension of the highest 
style of art, a sum of knowledge and experience, a certain 
degree of mental maturity, are required, without which all 
endeavors to force a taste for the most elevated objects will 
be vain, or possibly productive of disgust. The study of 



Beethoven's music should be earnestly entered upon, after 
the mind has been cultivated by a course of education at 
once philosophic and elegant : without such a preparation, 
khe study will infallibly be harassing and disagreeable, even 
to those who possess more than common susceptibility for 
musical poetry. Music is the offspring of deep feeling, and 
ay deep feeling alone can its genuine beauties be comp re- 
hended and enjoyed. 

N"ow,, with regard to the sonatas, I have further to 
observe, that the hints which I received from Beethoven 
on the subject of their composition, and the proper style 
of their performance, had direct reference to only a few of 
those compositions. Still, no doubt, many persons will be 
gratified by what I have to communicate. To the intel- 
ligent lover of music, these hints will afford matter for 
reflection, whereby he may not only more thoroughly com- 
prehend the works in question, but also, by the help of the 
key thus obtained, open for himself a path to the knowl- 
edge of other compositions of the like kind, imbued with 
the like soul and spirit. 

Among the most rich in materials, and unfortunately, 
among the least known, are the two sonatas comprised in 
Op. 14. The first is in E major, and the second in G 
major. Both these sonatas have for their subject a dialogue 
between a husband and wife, or a lover and his mistress. 
In the second sonata, this dialogue, with its signification, is 
very forcibly expressed ; the opposition of the two principal 
parts being more sensibly marked than in the first sonata. 
By these two parts, Beethoven Intended to represent two 
principles, which he designated the entreating and the 
resisting. Even in the first bars the contrary motion 
marks the opposition of these principles. 





By a softly gliding transition from earnest gravity to 



tenderness and feeling, the eighth bar introduces the 
entreating principle alone. 

n ft 




__ -f-*--\ * 

~* ^ 


\ i P 1 F *- 1 t- 


Cr. /* 

1 1 J ' '1 '] ' 

r-m T^ 



h-J J J * , * 

This suing and flattering strain continues until the mid- 
dle part is taken up in D major, when both principles are 
again brought into conflict, but not with the same degree 
of earnestness as at the commencement. The resisting prin- 
ciple is now relaxing, and allows the other to finish without 
interruption the phrase that has been begun. 

In the following phrase, 


both approximate, and the mutual understanding is ren- 
dered distinctly perceptible by the succeeding cadence on 
the dominant. 

In the second section of the same movement, the opposi- 
' .on is again resumed in the minor of the tonic, and the 
resisting principle is energetically expressed in the phrase 
in A. flat major. To this succeeds a pause on the chord of 
the dominant, and then in E flat the conflict is again 
resumed till the tranquil phrase 



comes in as it were like a preparation for mutual concord 
for both repeat several times the same idea, resembling an 
interrogation, beginning slowly, and with lingering pauses, 
then over and over again in rapid succession. The intro- 
duction in the tonic of the principal motivo renews the 
conflict, and the feelings alternate as in the first part; but, 
at the conclusion of the movement, the expected concilia- 
tion is still in suspense. It is not completely brought about 
until the end of the sonata, when it is clearly indicated, 
and as it were expressed, on the final close of the piece, by 
a distinctly articulated u Yes ! " from the resisting principle. 



Allegro assai. 




Then was not Beethoven justified in saying, that the 
poetic idea which had stimulated his imagination in the 
composition of this work was quite obvious ? In fact, is 
not the explanation of every individual phrase perfectly 
natural ? Of this let any one convince himself, by com- 
paring the above indication of the design with the sonata 

But the reality and certainty of the composer's intention 
is fully obtained only on the performance of the piece, the 
difficulty of which, be it observed, is much greater than il 


is generally believed to be. T?or example, words directing 
the quickening or retarding of the time, such as accelerando >, 
ritardando, &c., do not, in their ordinary acceptation, 
convey an adequate idea of the wonderfully delicate shading 
which characterized Beethoven's performance ; and on this 
account he would have experienced great impediments, had 
he proceeded with his intended revisal of many other works 
in the like style. This obstacle he clearly foresaw. 

M. Kies, alluding to the " Sonate Pathetique," p. 106 of 
liis "Notizen," makes the following remarks on the perform- 
ance of Beethoven, " In general, he played his own com- 
positions in a very capricious manner ; he nevertheless kept 
strictly accurate time, occasionally, but very seldom, accel- 
erating the tempi. On the other hand, in the performance 
of a crescendo passage, he would make the time ritardando, 
which produced a beautiful and highly striking effect. 
Sometimes in the performance of particular passages, 
whether with the right hand or the left, he would infuse 
into them an exquisite, but altogether inimitable expres- 
sion. He seldom introduced notes or ornaments not set 
down in the composition." Yes, it may be truly said that 
the expression was inimitable ! What the " Sonate 
Pathetique" became under the bauds of Beethoven 
though he left much to be desired on the score of pure 
execution can only be conceived by those who have had 
the good fortune to hear it played by him. Yet it required 
to be heard over and over again before one could be con- 
vinced that it was a work, by name at least, already well 
known. In short, all music performed by his hands ap- 
peared to undergo a new creation. These wonderful effects 
were in a great degree produced by his uniform legato 
style, which was one of the most remarkable peculiarities 
of his playing.* 

All the pieces which I have heard Beethoven himself 

* With regard to piano-forte playing, Beethoven always Inculcated the fol- 
lowing rule: " Place the hands over the key-board In such a position that tho 
lingers need not be raised more than is necessary. This is the only method by 
which the player can learn to generate tone, and, as it were, to make the Instru- 
ment sing." He abjured the staccato style, especially in the performance of 
phrases, and he decisively termed it "finger-dancing," or ''manual air-saw- 
itig." There are many passages in Beethoven's works, which, though not 
narked with slurs, require to be played legato. But this a cultivated taste wiU 
Instinctively perceive. 


play were, with few exceptions, given without any con- 
straint as to the rate of the time. He adopted a tempo-rubato 
in the proper sense of the term, according as subject and 
situation might demand, without the slightest approach 
to caricature. Beethoven's playing was the most distinct 
and intelligible declamation, such, perhaps, as in the same 
high degree can only be studied in his works. His old 
friends, who attentively watched the development of his 
genius in every direction, declare that he adopted this 
mode of playing in the first years of the Third Period of his 
life, and that it was quite a departure from his earlier 
method, which was less marked by shading and coloring ; 
thence it appears that his perceptive sagacity had then 
discovered a sure method of throwing open, to the un- 
learned as well as the initiated, a door to the mysterious 
workings of his imagination. In the performance of his 
quartette music, he wished the same rules to be observed as 
in playing his sonatas ; for the quartettes paint passions 
and feelings no less than the sonatas. Among the latter, 
however, there are several in which a strict observance 
of time is indispensable ; scarcely permitting, much less 
demanding, any deviation from regularity. Those compo- 
sitions require to be played in what is termed the bravura 
style : they are Op. 106, 111, 57, and some others. 

I will now, as far as verbal description may permit, 
endeavor to convey an idea of the manner in which Beet- 
hoven himself used to play the two sonatas contained in 
Op. 14. His wonderful performance of these compositions 
was a sort of musical declamation, in which the two prin- 
ciples were as distinctly separated as the two parts of 
a dialogue when recited by the flexible voice of a good 

He commenced the opening allegro with vigor and spirit, 
relaxing these qualities at the sixth bar, and in the follow- 
ing passage : 

Here a slight ritardando made preparation for gently 



introducing the entreating principle. 
the phrase, 

The performance of 



was exquisitely shaded ; and to the following bars, 

Beethoven's manner of holding down particular notes, com- 
bined with a kind of soft, gliding touch, imparted such a 
vivid coloring, that the hearer could fancy he actually 
beheld the lover in his living form, and heard him apostro- 
phizing his obdurate mistress. In the following groups of 

he strongly accented the fourth note of each group, and 
gave a joyous expression to the whole passage ; and, at the 
succeeding chromatic run, he resumed the original time, and 
continued it till he arrived at this phrase, 

which he gave in tempo andantino, beautifully accenting 
the bass, and the third notes of the upper part of the har- 
mony, as I have marked them in the two last bars of the 
subjoined example, thereby rerdering distinct to the ear 
the separation of the two principles. On arriving at the 
ninth bar, 




t \e made the bass stand out prominently, and closed the suc- 
ceeding cadence on the dominant in the original time, 
which he maintained without deviation to the end of the 
first part. 

In the second part, Beethoven introduced the phrase in 
A. flat major, by a ritardando of the two preceding bars. 
He attacked this phrase vigorously, thus diffusing a glow 
of color over the picture. He gave a charming expression 
to the following phrase in the treble by strongly accenting 
and holding down longer than the prescribed time the first 
note in each bar, 

whilst the bass was played with gradually increasing soft 
ness, and with a sort of creeping motion of the hand. 

The passage next in succession was touched off brilliantly ; 
and, in its closing bars, the decrescendo was accompanied by 
a ritardando. The following phrase was begun in tempo 
andante : 

At the fifth bar, there was a slight accellerando, and an 
increase of tone. At the sixth bar, the original time was 
resumed. Throughout the remainder of the first move- 
ment, Beethoven observed the same time as that which he 
had taken in the opening bars. 

Various as were the tempi which Beethoven introduced 
in this movement, yet they were all beautifully prepared, 
and, if I may so express myself, the colors were delicately 



Mended one with another. There were none of those 
abrupt changes which the composer frequently admitted in 
some of his other works, with the view of giving a loftier 
flight to the declamation. Those who truly enter into the 
spirit of this fine movement will find it advisable not to 
repeat the first part : by this allowable abridgment, the 
gratification of the hearer wiU be unquestionably increased, 
whilst it may possibly be diminished by the frequent repe- 
tition of the same phrases. 

It would lead me too far to describe circumstantially the 
principal points in all the three movements of this sonata: 
and so with others. The shades of expression are so various 
and important, that I can only lament the impossibility of 
conveying any adequate idea of them by words. Perhaps 
it is only by the publication of a new edition of these and 
other compositions, that the manner in which Beethoven 
did or would have executed them can be rendered perfectly 
obvious to the performer, as well as their right comprehen- 
sion facilitated to those lovers of the art whose cultivated 
perception may enable them to recognize poetic ideas 
clothed in a musical garb. 

With regard to the second Sonata in E major (Op. 14), 
the subject of which is similar to that of the first, I shall 
confine myself to the description of Beethoven's manner of 
performing a very few passages. In the eighth bar of the 
first allegro movement, 

as well as in the ninth bar, he retarded the time, touching 
the keys more forte, and holding down the fifth note, as 
marked above. By these means he imparted to the passage 
an indescribable earnestness and dignity of character. 
In the tenth bar, 




the original time was resumed, the powerful expression 
being still maintained. The eleventh bar was diminuendo 
and somewhat lingering. The twelfth and thirteenth bars 
were played in the same manner as the two foregoing. 
On the introduction of the middle movement , 

the dialogue became sentimental. The prevailing time was 
andante, but not regularly maintained ; for, every time that 
either principle was introduced, a little pause was made on 
the first note, thus : 

At the following phrase, 

a joyous character was expressed. The original tempo was 
taken, and not again changed till the close of the first part 
The second part, from this passage, 

forward, was characterized by an increased breadth of 
rhythm, and augmented power of tone, which, however, 
was further on shaded into an exquisitely delicate pianis- 



simo ; so that the apparent meaning of the dialogue became 
more psrceptible without any over-strained effort of imagi- 

The second movement allegretto was, as performed by 
Beethoven, more like an allegro furioso / and until he 
arrived at the single chord, 

r j. . 

on which he made a very long pause, he kept up the same 

In the maggiore, the tempo was taken more moderately, 
and played by Beethoven in a beautifully expressive style. 
He added not a single note ; but he gave to many an accen- 
tuation which would not have suggested itself to any other 
player. On the subject of accentuation, I may state, as a 
general remark, that Beethoven gave prominent force to all 
appoggiaturas, particularly the minor second, even in run- 
ning passages ; and, in slow movements, his transition to the 
principal note was as delicately managed as it could have 
been by the voice of a singer. 

In the rondo of the sonata to which I am here refer- 
ring, Beethoven maintained the time as marked until he 
arrived at the bars introducing the first and third pauses. 
These bars he made ntardando. 

The two Sonatas in Op. 14, the first Sonata (F minor) in 
Op. 2 ; the first Sonata (C minor), Op. 10 ; the Sonate 
pathetique (C minor), Op. 13; the Sonata quasi Fantasia 
in C sharp minor, Op. 27, and some others, are all pictures 
of feeling ; and, in every movement, Beethoven varied the 
time according as the feelings changed. 

I will now endeavor to make the reader acquainted with 
the effect which Beethuven intended should be given to 
particular phrases or whole movements of his symphonies. 



That orchestral music docs not admit of such frequent 
changes of time as chamber music is, of course, an under- 
stood fact. But it is equally well known, that, in orchestral 
performances, the greatest and most unexpected efforts may 
be produced by even slight variations of time. 

Passing over the First Symphony, I shall proceed to notice 
the Second. In the first movement, the prescribed time 
must not be altered, and it must by no means be taken 
faster than is understood by the direction allegro. By too 
fast a tempo the intrinsic dignity of the movement would 
be utterly lost. 

The second movement, larghetto, requires a frequent 
change of measure. The first tempo is kept up to the 

where the time is gradually quickened, by which the 
Character of the movement acquires a greater degree o* 
warmth and spirit. 
The passage immediately following 



is like the echo of a very melancholy wail, and is given 
more slowly than the original time, which is resumed only 
with the succeeding cadence. The same variation of time 
should be observed on the repetition of the same phrases in 
the second part of the movement. 

To afford at a glance an idea of the right mode of playing 
these phrases, and to show that their accurate performance 
is perfectly practicable by a well-trained orchestra, I sub- 
join the whole in a connected form, together with the 
requisite marks for the changes of the tempi : 

Poco accelerando. 

f 1 f tip f f If^l* 

E Uf i r LJ 

Poco lento. 

Tempo \mo. 

fjco accelerando- 


Tempo \mo. 



Poco Allegretto. 

This allegretto is continued until the theme is taken up io 
C minor. The first largketto time is then resumed. 


I recommend orchestral directors to try on the piano this 
fragment as far as the A minor passage, and they will be 
convinced of the deep expression produced by the variations 
of the tempi as I have marked them. The phrase in C 
major ff likewise demands a deviation from the original 
time, and, if slightly accelerated, will be found to acquire 
additional power and effect.* 

The style of performance above described will be found 
to infuse into this long movement a degree of grace, dig- 
nity, and feeling, which is not attainable if the tempo be 
kept uniform. By the variation, the orchestra is kept con- 
stantly on the stretch ; but the performance will be found 
easy if it be conducted with steadiness and decision. 

I do not recollect any thing remarkable with regard to 
the manner of performing the other movements of this 
symphony. The tempi as marked may be adhered to. 

I have already observed that Beethoven marked the 
second movement of the A major Symphony with the direc- 
tion Andante, quasi Allegretto. But at the part in C 
major the time may be somewhat quickened, which will be 
found to produce an extremely pleasing effect, forming, 
likewise, a fine contrast to the mysterious character of the 
introduction. The passage in A minor which prepares the 
conclusion, demands, particularly in those parts where 
the violins answer the wind instruments, little breaks of the 
time, which the subject and the declamation render indis- 
pensable. The right coloring is thus given to the back- 
ground of the picture, and the deepest impression produced 
on the hearer. 

Concerning the " Symphonia Eroica," Beethoven wished 
that the first movement should be taken in more moderate 
time than is indicated by the direction, allegro con brio, 
which in the course of performance is usually converted 
into a presto. This detracts from the elevated character 
of the composition, and transforms it into a concertante 

* I agree with M. Schindler in these remarks. The slight deviations of time 
recommenced must give life and expression, not only to this movement, but also 
to the imaginative compositions of all the great masters. 

Their success, however, can only be assured by intimate acquaintance on th 
part of the band with the manner of the conductor, and Ms mode of conveying 
Us intentions, either from long intercourse or careful rehearsals. ED. 



display. On the contrary, a perfectly tranquil movement 
Bhould prevail from beginning to end, even in the loudest 
parts. The tempo should be somewhat retarded in this 
phrase : 

-^.3 ; ;- 

r"fr4 7 i^^ 1 


and this measure should be maintained to the following 
pianissimo passage : 


where a gentle accelerando brings back the original time 
of the movement. This latter time must be rigidly ob- 
served as far as the forte phrase in B major. The same 
changes of time should be observed in the corresponding 
phrases of the second part of the movement. 

Before I proceed to comment on the second movement, 
the Marcia funebre, I must bring to the reader's recollec- 
tion Beethoven's declaration in reference to this movement, 
given in the Second Period. Whether this declaration be 
taken as jest or earnest, it contains a great deal of truth. 
Though Beethoven said he composed the music appropriate 
to the tragical end of the great Emperor seventeen years 
prior to the event, yet the extent of his fancy is more pow- 
erfully manifested in the manner in which he lias portrayed 
the catastrophe. Does not, for example, the middle move- 
ment in C major plainly point to the rising of a star 
of hope ? Further on, does not this same middle movement 
indicate the firm resolution of the hero to overcome his 
fate ? The succeeding fugue-movement, also, still pictures 
out a conflict with fate. After this, there is perceptibly a 
decline of energy, which, however, again revives, until in 
this phrase : 




resignation is expressed, the hero gradually sinks, and at 
length, like other mortals, is consigned to the grave. 

The maggiore itself demands a somewhat animated 

In the C minor Symphony, Beethoven intended that 
only a very few variations should be made in the time ; yet 
these few are in the highest degree important and inter- 
esting, and they refer principally to the first movement. 

The opening of this movement (that is to say, the first 
five bars with the two pauses) requires to be played in 
something like this tempo, f = 126, an andante con moto.* 
Thus the mystical character of the movement is in an 
infinite degree more clearly manifested than by a rapid 
expression of this phrase, so full of deep meaning. Beet- 
hoven expressed himself in something like vehement ani- 
mation, when describing to me his idea, " It is thus that 
fate knocks at the door." At the sixth bar, where the 
first violin is introduced, the allegro con brio, f 2 = 108, com- 
mences ; and this time is continued until this passage,! 




where, according to Beethoven's idea, fate again knocks at 
the door, only more slowly. At the passage for the first 
violin, in the succeeding bar, the allegro is again taken 

In the second part of this movement the retardation 
of the quick time occurs twice ; first at the phrase succeed- 
ing the pause on the major triad of E flat.J 

?! D. t 8 Soore, p. 8. J Bee Score, p . 


secondly at the repetition of the same phrase (page 
43 of the Score). 

Respecting any essential changes of time in the other 
three movements of this symphony, I received no informa- 
tion from Beethoven. 

The above hints on matter and manner in relation to 
Beethoven's music will, I trust, be found satisfactory. For 
several reasons, it appears to me that further details would 
here be out of place. I must, however, most earnestly and 
indignantly protest against every reproach founded on the 
suspicion that these hints and other observations did not 
emanate from Beethoven, but have been the offspring 
of my invention. Beethoven's Quartette, performed by 
Schuppanzigh and the three other initiated players, plainly 
shows the effect which the music was capable of producing, 
when executed in obedience to the composer's personal 
directions. Those who have not had the good fortune to 
hear that performance, and to have thereby obtained the 
advantage of observing that by varying the time at suita- 
ble points, powerful effects are produced, and the most 
abstruse music rendered an intelligible language to un- 
learned ears, may possibly doubt the accuracy of what I 
have stated; but, nevertheless, unjustly. 

If Beethoven did not direct the performance of his in- 
strumental music in the manner above described, it was for 
the important reason that he had not, ex officio^ any 
orchestra under his control, and none would have had 
patience to be schooled by him. This sort of study could 
only be practicable with the well-organized orchestra of a 
chapel or musical Conservatoire. With respect to the 
orchestra of the Vienna Theatre, the performers engaged 
in it have always insisted, that, with the exception of their 
duties on the nights of performance, nothing more shall be 
required of them ; and the orchestra of the Concert-Spirituel 
includes among its coadjutors many diletantti, who cannot 
devote the necessary time to rehearsals. 

These circumstances serve to explain the complaints 
made by Beethoven to Hofrath Rochlitz in the year 1822. 
Those complaints, which unfortunately contained mortify- 


ing truths, are thus related by Rochlitz in his work entitled 
" Fur Freunde der Tonkunst " (vol. iv. p. 355) : " He 
(Beethoven), turning the conversation upon himself and 
his works, said, ' None of my compositions are heard 
here.' 'None in the summer season?' inquired I, writing 
the words on the slate. 'Neither in summer nor winter.' 
exclaimed he. 'What should they hear? Fidelio?' 
' They cannot perform it, and would not listen to it if they 
could.' 'The Symphonies?' 'They have not time for 
them.' * ' The Concertos ? ' ' Our instrumental players 
prefer strumming and scraping their own productions.' 
' The Solos ? ' ' They have been long out of fashion here : 
and now-a-days fashion rules every thing,' " &c. 

I once more repeat that Beethoven's music would have 
founded a new era, had the composer been enabled, in the 
new edition of his works, to accomplish the much-desired 
object of classical explanation, or had he possessed the 
control of an orchestra, which, under his own instruction 
and superintendence, he might have made a model for the 
whole musical world. That his ideas of possible improve- 
ment would not have been narrowly circumscribed, may be 
inferred from the proposition laid down by himself, " The 
boundary does not yet exist, of which it can be said to 
talent co-operating with industry, Thus far shalt thou go, 
and no farther ! " 

I had just finished this portion of my work, when the 
" Journal des Debats," of the 18th of January last, con- 
taining a letter from Vienna, dated the 5th of the same 
month, reached my hands. This letter relates to a calli- 
graphic collection of Beethoven's works, which the Archduke 

* Will It be believed in Vienna that Beethoven's symphonies were assidu 
ously practised from twelve to sixteen months, and the Ninth Sjmphony, with 
Schiller's Ode to Joy, full two years, in the Conservatoire of Paris, before they 
were performed in public ? This is a fact. It Is also a fact, that on occasion 
of the first performance of this Ninth Symphony, in 1824, at the Karnthncr- 
'1'horc Theatre, Beethoven could obtain no more than two rehearsals, because 
the orchestra was engaged in rehearsing a new ballet. Remonstrances and en- 
treaties, on the part of Beethoven, for a third rehearsal, which he considered 
necessary, proved unavailing. He received for definitive answer, " Two re> 
hear- will he sufficient." What will the professors of the Paris Conerv 
toll i .!>(. M . Ha*>en4Ck, the leader, say to this? 


Rudolph has bequeathed by will to the "Society of the 
Lovers of Music of the Austrian Empire," whose patron 
his Imperial Highness had been for many years. It con- 
tains some inaccuracies, which might furnish occasion for 
misconceptions and controversies : it may, therefore, not be 
amiss to subjoin a simple statement of the fact, in which 
Beethoven is directly implicated, in order to correct the 
errors in that letter. 

Mr. Tobias Haslinger, while a partner in the house of 
Steiner & Co., music-publishers (of which he is now sole 
proprietor), undertook to produce a calligraphic copy of all 
Beethoven's works. After a number of the works already 
printed had been so copied, Beethoven received intelligence 
of the circumstance ; and though the expensive undertaking 
of Mr. Haslinger was represented to him as a mercantile 
speculation, which, however, according to his statement, it 
was not intended to be, the composer was perfectly indiffer- 
ent, since he could not have raised any reasonable objection, 
let the purpose of the enterprise be what it might. Now, 
the letter from Vienna in the "Journal des Debats" asserts 
that Beethoven had previously revised and corrected, and, 
" in fact, put the finishing hand," to all his works for the 
benefit of this calligraphic copy: this assertion must be 
contradicted. At the time that Beethoven heard what Mr. 
Haslinger was about, he was not on good terms with the 
above-mentioned house, neither, of course, with Mr. Has- 
linger himself ; and soon afterwards followed the rupture 
mentioned in the Third Period, because Beethoven would 
not subscribe to the scale of prices in Mr. Haslinger's hand- 
writing. By such inaccurate statements sent forth to the 
world, not without some object, as I suppose, I am induced 
to subjoin that list of prices.* From the remarks annexed, 



Symphonies for the whole orchestra 80-80 

Overtures, 20-30 


Concertos for violin, with orchestral accompaniment*, .... 50 

Ottettes for virioui instruments, 60 

Septettes " 60 

Bextetu* " " . 


in Beethoven's own handwriting, it will be seen, that just 
at this time (1821 and 1822), the above-mentioned publish- 
ers were in treaty with Beethoven respecting an edition of 
his complete works. Another Vienna house was likewise 
treating with him at the same time for the same purpose. 


Quintettes for two violins, two violas, and violoncello, .... 60 

Quartettes for two violins, viola, and violoncello, ..... 40 

Terzettos for violin, viola, and Violoncello, 40 

Concertos for the piano-forte, with orchestral accompaniment*, . . 90 





Ottettos for piano-forte, with accompaniments of various InstrumeBta, 60 

Septette " f " " 69 

Quintette " " " 60 
Quartette ' 

Terzettos for piano-forte, viola, and violoncello, 60 

Duets for piano-forte and violin, 40 

Duets for piano-forte and violoncello, 40 

Duo for piano-forte, for four hands, 60 

Sonata (Grand) for piano-forte alone, 40 

Sonata for piano-forte, solo, 80 

Fantasia for piano-forte 90 

Rondo for piano-forte 16 

Variations for piano-forte, with accompaniments, 10-20 

Variations for piano-forte, solo, 10-20 

Six Fugues for piano-forte, 80-40 

Divertimentos, Airs. Preludes, Potpourris, Bagatelles, Adagio, An- 
dante, Toccatas, Capriccios, for piano-forte, solo, .... 10-16 

VOCAL Music. 

Grand Mass, 180 

Smaller Mass, 100 

Greater Oratorio, 800 

Smaller Oratorio, 200 

Graduate 20 

Offertorium, 20 

Te Deum Laudamus, 60 

Requiem, 120 

Vocal Pieces with orchestral accompaniment*, 20 

An Opera Seria, SOP 

Six Songs, with piano-forte accompaniments, 20 

Six shorter Songs, with piano-forte accompaniments 12 

A Ballad, 15 

Immediately underneath were the following remarks in Beethoven's hand- 
writing: ' One might reserve a right occasionally to alter or to fix new prices. 
Ff the above are meant, merely for Austria, or (at most) France, and England is 
left to me, they might be accepted. In regard to several items, one might 
retain the right of fixing the price orie's-self. As to the publication of the com- 
plete works, England and France should perhaps he reserved for the author. 
The sum to be paid by the publishers would be ten thousand florins, Vienna 
currency. As they wish also to treat for the publication of the complete works 
inch a contract would, in my opinion, be the best. . . . Perhaps stan 1 out f i 
London and Paris nd write to Schlesinger on the subject." 


How, then, could Beethoven have put a finishing hand to 
his works for the benefit of that calligraphic copy, since he 
himself projected an edition of them, and had so many 
important points not yet settled in his own mind to decide 
upon ? And though he may have subsequently corrected a 
few wrong notes (of which there are unluckily too many in 
his works) for Mr. Haslinger's undertaking, this cannot by 
any means be called "putting the finishing hand to a 
work." It were indeed to be wished that Beethoven had 
done so in this instance, and that his intentions were to be 
found there. How many and what great works has Beet- 
hoven written after the rupture with that house, which have 
been introduced into the calligraphic copy! Is it to be 
supposed that he put the finishing hand to these also for 
the benefit of that undertaking? If so, look, above all, 
at the Quartette No. 13, and others of the latest quar- 
tettes, and discover, if you can, the remarks and explanations 
to them which Beethoven sent to Prince Nicholas von 
Galitzen, to St. Petersburg (as I have mentioned at pp. 
111-113 of the present volume), and which he designed to 
append in a more explicit form to a second edition, in order 
to render those works more intelligible; and then those 
"hieroglyphics," as they are called, will be all at once deci- 
phered for the whole world, and bright sunshine pervade 
them, as it does his Quartette No. 1. 

When Beethoven was informed that Mr. Haslinger was 
in treaty with the Archduke Rudolph for the sale of the 
calligraphic works, and that the price demanded for them 
was said (if I recollect rightly) to be forty thousand florins, 
the "Journal des Debats" says that they cost the arch- 
duke upwards of ninety thousand florins (two hundred and 
twenty-three thousand francs), the great master was agaiu 
indifferent, and merely muttered to himself something about 
" a poor devil," and that " such he was, and such he should 
ever remain, while others contrived to suck out his mar- 
row, and fatten upon it." But I was accustomed to such 
exclamations, or freaks of fancy : they had nothing alarm- 
ing, but much that grieved; for, when the beloved friend 
had vented his spleen in this manner, he would take up the 
pen, and again fall to writing what he used puniungly ia 
call Noten in Nothen, notes in emergency. 




Beethoven's Religion* Principles. His Dislike of giving Lessons. His Frank 
ness, and, at the same Time, Dexterity in evading Questions. Vindication 
of Him from the Charge of Discourtesy to Brother Artists. Proofs, that, 
though a Rigid, he was a Just Critic. Kind Encouragement afforded by him 
to Professional Merit. His Modest Appreciation of Himself. His Extem- 
pore Playing. His Every -day Occupations. Propensity for dabbling io 
Water. Pension. Certificates. Beethoven erroneously compared with 
Jean Paul Richter. Mortifying Trick played by Him at the Instigation of a 
Friend. Motivo of ti Movement in one of his Quartettes. His Peculiar 
Habits in Eating and Drinking. Extent of his Knowledge of Languages. 
Comments on Statements of M. von Seyfried relative to Beethoven's Domes- 
tic Habits. Spurious MBS. attributed to Him. His Person. Portrait* 
of Him. 

BEETHOVEN was educated in the Catholic religion ; and 
that he was truly religious, the whole tenor of his life suffi- 
ciently proves. It was, however, a remarkable peculiarity 
in his character, that he never conversed on religion, or 
expressed any opinion on the creeds of different Christian 
sects. If my observation entitles me to form an opinion on 
the subject, I should say he inclined to Deism, in so far as 
that term may be understood to imply natural religion. 
He had written with his own hand two inscriptions, said to 
be taken from a temple of Isis. These inscriptions, which 
were framed, and for many years constantly lay before him 
on his writing-table, were as follows : 






I shall carefully watch over the preservation of these 
pious relics of my friend, who regarded them as an epitome 
of the loftiest and purest religion. They were to him 
dearly-prized treasures. 

I have already, in the biographical part of this work, 
alluded to Beethoven's repugnance to giving lessons. I 

* See Beethoven's fee-simile in the original German, of which the above U t 
translation. No. I. 


may now add, that his distaste for tuition was experienced 
by the " dames de predilection " who could boast of being 
his pupils. Even these ladies found themselves sometimes 
forgotten by him for weeks at a time ; and, when at length 
he presented himself, he was generally received with looks 
of displeasure, which, however, made but little impression 
on him. With respect to his mode of conveying instruc- 
tion, the following particulars may interest the reader. 

Those who wished to obtain from Beethoven that valua- 
ble information which he was so capable of communicating, 
could not succeed in that object unless they had the oppor- 
tunity of being near him at every hour of the daj r ; for 
nothing could induce him to give himself up to any business 
at a fixed time. Now and then he would speak readily and 
entertainingly on the various branches of knowledge with 
which he was familiar ; he would even give direct instruc- 
tion ; but how few had opportunity to profit by these 
communicative intervals ! They frequently occurred at 
meal-times, and during his walks, or, to speak more prop- 
erly, runs; and, on these occasions, he would often suddenly 
break off the conversation if he found his companion una- 
ble to keep pace with him. In his philosophic discussions, 
there were only two topics which Beethoven never touched 
upon, and which, indeed, he carefully avoided, namely, 
thorough-bass and religion. Both, he declared, were ex- 
hausted subjects, which admitted of no further discussion. 

If candor be the type of nobleness of mind, that virtue 
was fully possessed by Beethoven. He gave expression to 
his feelings without any reserve ; and the propriety of 
repressing offensive remarks was a thing that never entered 
his thoughts. On the other hand, it was no easy matter to 
get him to pronounce an opinion or judgment on music and 
musicians ; and it was only after an attentive observation 
of his expressions, sometimes for the space of several days, 
that any thing decided or consistent could be gained from 
him. With the witty, satirical, and sarcastic remarks which 
were always ready at his tongue's end, he endeavored to 
evade questions to which he did not wish to give direct 
answers ; and he usually succeeded in discouraging inquir 
ers, who got something like a reply, but nothing to th 


purpose.* It was seldom, either at meal-time or during his 
walks, that he was, to use his own expression, " quite unbut- 
toned." When he was, he wielded the rod of satire without 
mercy ; and emperor, king, and artist were all alike sub- 
ject to his critical lash. Beethoven had to pay an annual 
impost, called a class-tax, amounting to twenty-one florins. 
These twenty-one florins furnished him yearly with a sub- 
ject for twenty-one thousand sarcasms, of which, in return, 
his diversified talent never failed to make a repartition and 
re-assessment, which produced, as usual, a result in the 
kighest degree humorous. 

Beethoven has too frequently been accused of a discour- 
teous bluntness of manner towards his brother artists, which 
had a discouraging effect on the efforts of young beginners. 
Even M. Ries, in his "Notizen," plainly bhows that he 
thought this charge against Beethoven not without founda- 
tion. In allusion to this subject, a friend of Beethoven's 
has thus expressed himself: "These people cannot sepa- 
rate the man oppressed by fate from the caprice and 
irritability which are caused by that fate ; they cannot see 
the noble side of his disposition. Nevertheless, it is a mel- 
ancholy fact, that, to his unhappy state of existence, we are 
in a great measure indebted for his wonderful musical 
fancy and susceptibility." 

M. Moscheles will remember the amiable reception he 
experienced when he presented to Beethoven the Sonata in 
E which he had dedicated to him. He will likewise recol- 
lect the patient attention with which Beethoven corrected 
his piano-forte arrangement of "Fidelio," published by D. 
Artaria,; and how kindly he encouraged his labors, until 
they were brought to a satisfactory conclusion. He even 
persuaded Moscheles to introduce an arrangement of om 

* I remember, after having been for some time resident in England, in the 
course of a conversation with Beethoven, at his house in Vienna (in November. 
1823), asking him in 
"How is the Archd 
tending his sheep at 
to the archduke's cardinalship. 

The same conversation was remarkably interesting to me, as affording me 
many proofs of the extreme interest Beethoven took in the diffusion of his 
works in Kn gland, and the fondness with which he cherished the idea of himself 
directing their performance, and witnessing thuir popularity in that country. He 
asked me many minute questions about the state of the orchestra*, and ttu 
organization of the different nusical societies of London. ED. 


piece from the opera which Hummel had prepared for 
Artaria, and which Beethoven had condemned, or, to speak 
the truth, contemptuously torn up, not knowing at the time 
that it was the work of Hummel. At the end of every 
piece he arranged from the opera, Moscheles, prohably under 
the apprehension of being treated with as little ceremony 
as Hummel, wrote the words, " Fine, with God's help," and 
Beethoven wrote underneath, " man, help thyself ! " 

Beethoven's kindness will, no doubt, be borne in mind 
by that esteemed composer, M. Anton Helm, when he 
arranged the grand Fugue for the piano-forte. This fugue 
had previously formed the fourth movement of the Quar- 
tette in B (No. 13), which Beethoven, at the request of the 
publisher (Math. Artaria), converted into a distinct work 
(Op. 133). He then composed a new fourth movement for 
the quartette ; and it is worthy of remark, that this move- 
ment was positively Beethoven's last work. He completed 
it in November, 1826. Czerny had arranged the fugue 
above alluded to, before Halm ; but his production met 
with no more approval than Hummel' s movement from 

The above facts show, that if Beethoven was a rigid, he 
was likewise a just critic : that he was rigid in exactions 
upon himself more than upon others, is obvious from the 
scores of all his works. His critical judgment on musical 
compositions was frequently accompanied by violent ebulli- 
tions of temper. A remarkable instance of this occurred 

* With respect to most of the arrangements of Beethoven's works for two or 
four hands, especially his symphonies, it is curious to Imagine the destruction 
which the great master would have dealt among them, had he lived to see them. 
He would have waged war against them with fire and sword, and none would 
have been spared except those of Watts and Hummel. These Beethoven pro- 
nounced to be the host piano-forte arrangements of his works. As to the other 
arrangers, one of them has copied half of the score, and by this means burdened 
the performer with difficulties, which on the piano-forte, owing to tlr- homo- 
geneous tone of the instrument, are useless, and frequently undistinguishablc, 
whilst they obstruct the free flow of the melody, and, by fatiguing both the eyes 
and fingers of the player, render him incapable of following the spirit and soul 
of the music. Another of such arrangers, or, to speak more correctly, deran- 
gers, deserves to have his knuckles rapped for the liberty he has taken in making 
essential omissions and additions, with the view of improving Beethoven's 
music. M. Himrock would render a gratifying tribute to the memory of Beetho- 
ven, by engaging M. Watts to arrange all the symphonies. By his arrangement 
of the Fourth and Sixth Symphonies, Watts has shown that he is more capable 
than any otherof executing that difficult task in a sr irit congenial with the com- 


after he had examined Ries's concerto, entitled " Farewell 
to London." Beethoven was so singularly displeased with 
this work, that he addressed a fulminating letter to the 
editor of the Leipzig " Musikalische Zeitung," wherein he 
enjoins Ries no longer to call himself his pupil. Kanne 
and Schuppanzigh, whom I acquainted with this affair, 
joined me in persuading the enraged master to refrain from 
any further demonstration of displeasure. But, in the 
mean time, Ries had received his reprimand ; and that lor 
several years afterwards he smarted under the heavy rebuke 
of his old master is, I think, evident from a passage in his 
"Notizen." Why did not Ries insert Beethoven's letter in 
that publication? It would have been in many respects 
interesting, and, at the same time, a real example of the 
great master's peculiarities.* 

Franz Lachner, T. Horzalka, and Leopoldine Blahetka, 
all experienced from Beethoven a kind reception, and an 
acknowledgment of their eminent talents. It was in con- 
sequence of the encouragement, and indeed the assistance, 
of Beethoven, in her education, that Mademoiselle Blahetka 
was destined by her father to the musical profession. 

How greatly did Beethoven admire the genius of Franz 
Schubert ! But it was not until he was on his death-bed 
that he had a complete perception of that talent, which the 
representations of certain persons had previously caused 
him to underrate. When I made him acquainted with 
Schubert's "Ossians Gesange," "Die Biirgschaft," "Die 
Junge Nonne," " Grenzen der Menscheit," and some other 
productions of the same composer, he exclaimed, with deep 
emotion, "Truly, Schubert is animated by a spark of heav- 
enly fire ! " 

I could quote the names of many other artists, who will 
cherish, as long as they live, a gratifying remembrance of 
the kindness shown to them by Beethoven. That our great 
master was not disposed to treat with undue courtesy artis 
tical presumption, which sometimes, in his latter years, 
boldly raised its head before him, may naturally be sup- 

* Beethoven did not receive Rossini, though the latter called on him no lew 
than four times. I shall make no comment on this fact, further than to observe 
.hat I wish Beethoven had not thua acted. 


posed. Exempla sunt odiosa. But on such aberrations 
Beethoven's high mind looked down with compawsion. 
I will close this chapter with the following remarks: 
Beethoven possessed too much genuine religious feeling 
to believe that Nature had created him to be a model for 
future ages, as many of his worshippers, not unfrequently 
actuated by interested motives, would fain have persuaded 
him. A stranger to the business of this world, and living, 
as it were, in another, Beethoven was like a child, to whom 
every external influence gives a new impulse ; and who, in 
.ike manner, does not turn an unwilling ear to flattery, 
because incapable of estimating the purpose for which the 
adulation is bestowed. This ignorance of the world ; this 
lofty or puerile feeling ,whichever it may be termed, was in 
Beethoven only transitory, and he soon recovered his manly 
tone of mind. Beethoven well knew and always respected 
the motto, Palmam qui meruit ferat ! His upright, 
impartial mind led him to bestow, unsolicited, the most 
unequivocal approbation on foreign talent, often as he 
found that approbation lessened, or discovered that it had 
been altogether cast away upon certain " backsliding men," 
as he termed them. Beethoven always bore in mind that 
a Mozart had preceded him, and that another might follow 
him. He ever cherished high expectations of the future; 
for he fervently believed in the omnipotence of the Creator, 
and the inexhaustibility of nature. Oh, how great was 
Beethoven as a man ! Who ever learned to know him on 
that side, and was capable of comprehending and judging, 
not only of his mighty genius, but also of his noble heart, 
will not fail to place the moral man, if not above the great 
composer, at least on the same level with him. 

Beethoven was very fond, especially in the dusk of the 
evening, of seating himself at the piano to improvise ; or he 
would frequently take up the violin or viola, for which pur- 
pose these two instruments were always left lying on the 
piano. In the latter years of his life, his playing at such 
times was more painful than agreeable to those who heard 
it The inward mind alone was active, but the outward 
Bense no longer co-operated with it ; consequently the 
outpourings of his fancy became scarcely intelligible. 


Sometimes he would lay his left hand flat upon the key* 
board, and thus drown, in discordant noise, the music te 
which his right was feelingly giving utterance. It is well 
known that Beethoven, in his early years, did not perform 
his own compositions purely ; for no other reason, however, 
than his want of time to keep the mechanical power of his 
fingers in practice : but his improvisations, when he was 
free from the restraint of reading notes, were the finest 
effusions of the kind imaginable. The imperial court 
piano-forte-maker, Conrad Graf, made for Beethoven a 
sound-conductor, which, being placed on the piano-forte, 
helped to convey the tone more distinctly to his ear ; but, 
though this contrivance was ingenious, it afforded no assist- 
ance in Beethoven's case of extreme deafness. The most 
painful thing of all was to hear him improvise on stringed 
instruments, owing to his incapability of tuning them. 
The music which he thus produced was frightful, though 
in his mind it was pure and harmonious. 

In winter, as well as in summer, it was Beethoven's 
practice to rise at daybreak, and immediately to sit down 
to his writing-table. There he would labor till two or 
three o'clock, his usual dinner-time. Meanwhile, he 
would go out once or twice in the open air, where, to use 
M. Saphir's phrase, he would work and walk. Then, after 
the lapse of half an hour or an hour, he would return home, 
to note down the ideas which he had collected. As the 
bee gathers honey from the flowers of the meadows, so 
Beethoven often collected his most sublime ideas while 
roaming about in the open fields. The habit of going 
abroad suddenly, and as unexpectedly returning, just as the 
whim happened to strike him, was practised by Beethoven 
alike at all seasons of the year : cold or heat, rain or sun- 
shine, were all alike to him. In the autumn, he used to 
return to town as sunburnt as though he had been sharing 
the daily toil of the reapers and gleaners. Winter restored 
his somewhat yellow complexion. In No. 2, of the Appen- 
dix will be found a fac-simile of some of his first ideas, 
noted down with pencil, immediately as they were con- 
ceived amidst the inspiring scenery of nature. 

The use of the bath was as much a necessity to Beet- 


hoven as to a Turk; and he was in the hahit of submitting 
himself to frequent ablutions. When it happened that he 
did not walk out of doors to collect his ideas, he would not 
unfrequently, in a fit of the most complete abstraction, go 
to his wash-hand basin, and pour several jugs of water 
upon his hands, all the while humming and roaring, for 
sing he could not. After dabbling in the water till his 
clothes were wet through, he would pace up and down the 
room, with a vacant expression of countenance, and hia 
eyes frightfully distended; the singularity of his aspect 
being often increased by an unshaven beard. Then he 
would seat himself at his table and write ; and afterwards 
ge^ up again to the wash-hand basin, and dabble and hum 
as before. Ludicrous as were these scenes, no one dared 
venture to notice them, or to disturb him while engaged in 
his inspiring ablutions ; for these were his moments, or I 
should rather say his hours, of profoundest meditation. It 
will be readily believed, that the people in whose houses he 
lodged were not very well pleased when they found the 
water trickling through the floor to the ceiling below, as 
sometimes happened; and Beethoven's change of lodgings 
was often the consequence of these occurrences. On such 
occasions, comical scenes sometimes ensued. 

At every quarterly payment of his pension, Beethoven 
was required, before he could receive the money, to procure 
from the curate of the district in which he resided a cer- 
tificate to prove that he was actually living. When he 
happened to be in the country, he used to get me or some 
other friend to draw up this certificate; and, whenever he 
wrote to make this request, it was always in some humor- 
ous or jesting manner. On one of these occasions, he 
addressed to me a note, containing merely the following 
words, unaccompanied by any explanation ; he, of course, 
knew very well that I should understand their import : 

" The fish is alire. 

" Ptttor KOMU ALDUS " 


It has been so much the custom to compare Beethoven 
with Jean Paul B/ichter, that the correctness of the com- 
parison seems to he taken for granted: nevertheless, it 
appears to me to he very unjust. Jean Paul was not his 
favorite author. If Beethoven ever looked into his works, 
he cannot be said to have read them : they were too apho- 
ristic and enigmatical for his taste. To imagine that there 
exists any general resemblance between our great composer 
and Jean Paul Richter is a great mistake. That writer, it 
is true, occasionally makes excursions into the region 
of dreamy and sentimental life ; but, as a painter of feelings, 
he is not to be placed on a level with Beethoven. A com- 
parison with Shakspeare or Michael Angelo might be 
more correct. Shakspeare was Beethoven's favorite poet. 

Though Beethoven was throughout his whole life a prey 
to misfortune and disappointment, yet there were moments 
in which he did not scruple to inflict pain and disappoint- 
ment on others. Nevertheless, it must be observed, that, in 
most cases of this kind, he acted under some other influence 
than that of his own feelings. The following circumstance 
occurred in the latter years of his life. 

The wife of M. H m, an esteemed piano-forte 

player and composer, residing in Vienna, was a great ad- 
mirer of Beethoven ; and she earnestly wished to possess a 
lock of his hair. Her husband, anxious to gratify her, 
applied to a gentleman who was very intimate with Beet- 
hoven, and who had rendered him some service. At the 
instigation of this person, Beethoven was induced to send 
the lady a lock of hair cut from a goat's beard ; and, Beet- 
hoven's own hair being very gray and harsh, there was no 
reason to fear that the hoax would be very readily detected. 
The lady was overjoyed at possessing this supposed memo- 
rial of her saint, proudly showing it to all her acquaint- 
ance ; but, when her happiness was at its height, some one, 
who happened to know the secret, made her acquainted 
with the deception that had been practised on IK r. In a 
letter addressed to Beethoven, her husband warmly ex- 
pressed his feelings on the subject of the discovery that hud 
been made. Convinced of the mortification which the 
trick must have inflicted on the lady, Beethoven deter- 


mined to make atonement for it. He immediately cut off a 
lock of his hair, and enclosed it in a note, in which he 
requested the lady' s forgiveness of what had occurred. 
The respect which Beethoven previously entertained for 
the instigator of this unfeeling trick was now converted 
into hatred ; and he would never afterwards receive a visit 
from him. 

This is not the only instance that could be mentioned, in 
which our great master was influenced by vulgar-minded 
persons to do things unworthy of himself. 

Questions have frequently been addressed to me respect- 
ing the motivo of the last movement of the Quartette in F, 
Op. 135 ; to which Beethoven affixed as a superscription the 
words, " Der schwer-gefasste Entschluss. Un effort 
d> inspiration. ' Muss es sein ?' ' Es muss sein ? ' " * 
Between Beethoven and the people in whose houses he at 
different times lodged, the most ludicrous scenes arose 
whenever the period arrived for demanding payment of the 
rent. The keeper of the house was obliged to go to him, 
almanac in hand, to prove that the week was expired, and 
that the money must he paid. Even in his last illness, he 
sang with the most comical seriousness to his landlady the 
interrogatory motivo of the quartette above mentioned. 
The woman understood his meaning; and, entering into his 
jocose humor, she stamped her foot, and emphatically an- 
swered, " Es muss sein ? " There is another version of the 
story relative to this motivo. It refers to a publisher of 
music, and does not differ very much from the anecdote 1 
have just related. Both turn upon the article money, and 
are merely jokes. But what a poetic palace has Beetho- 
ven built on this very prosaic foundation 1 

Great men, as well as their inferiors, are subject to cer- 
tain natural wants, such as eating and drinking. Some 
of Beethoven's peculiarities in these matters, which will 
not be uninteresting to many of his admirers, deserve 
at the same time to be ranked among the curiosities of 

* The resolution thus hesitatingly formed. An effort of Inspiration. Musi 
tbe?" "It must be." 


For his breakfast, he usually took coffee, which he fre- 
quently prepared himself; for in this beverage he had an 
Oriental fastidiousness of taste. He allowed sixty beans 
for each cup ; and, lest his measure should mislead him to 
the amount of a bean or two, he made it a rule to count 
over the sixty for each cup, especially when he had visitors. 
He performed this task with as much care as others of 
greater importance. At dinner, his favorite dish was mac- 
caroni, with Parmesan cheese, which must have been very 
bad before he pronounced it to be so ; but that it was not 
always very good may be inferred from the uncertainty of 
the time he occupied in writing, and consequently of the 
hour for his meals. He was, likewise, very fond of every 
kind of fish ; and consequently fast-days imposed no sacri- 
fice on him. To certain guests, he only gave invitations on 
Fridays ; fcr then his table was always adorned with a fine 
schill* and potatoes. Supper was not a meal which he 
cared much about. A plate of soup, or something left from 
dinner, was all he partook of; and he was in bed by ten 
o'clock. He never wrote in the afternoon, and but very 
seldom in the evening. He disliked to correct what he had 
written. This he always felt an irksome task. He pre- 
*erred making a fresh copy of his notes. 

Beethoven's favorite beverage was fresh spring-water, of 
which he often drank copiously from morning to night. 
He preferred the wine of the heights around Buda to every 
other. But, as he was no judge of wine, he could not dis- 
tinguish the adulterated from the pure : and, by drinking 
the former, he frequently caused great derangement to his 
weak stomach ; but no warning of this kind had any eifect 
upon him. Among his enjoyments may also be numbered 
a glass of good beer, and a pipe of tobacco, in the evening. 
To these may be added the perusal of the political jour- 
nals, especially the "Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung." 
This sort of reading engrossed a great deal of his time. 

He frequently visited taverns and coffee-houses, even in 
the latter years of his life ; but he usually had some favor- 
ite one, \rhich was provided with a back door, at which he 

* A kind of fiah resembling the haddock, caught in the Danube. 


could go in and out. Strangers, who wished to get a sight 
of Beetl oven, used to go to the coffee-house he was in the 
hahit of frequenting ; for thither he would repair, to a cer- 
tainty, once or twice a week, not for the purpose of con- 
versing, but of reading the journals. When he had glanced 
over the last paper, he would hurry away, making his sxt 
by the back door. 

M. Ignaz von Seyfried, in his account of Beethoven,* 
states that he was a perfect master of the Latin, French, 
and Italian languages. In as far as relates to the first- 
mentioned language, Dr. Wegeler mentions, in his work, 
(p. 9), that Beethoven "learned something of Latin at 
Bonn." But, in proof of his very slight acquaintance with 
that language, I need only mention the fact, that, on the 
first occasion of composing a mass, he was obliged, not only 
to get the words translated, but also the quantities of the 
different syllables explained to him. How far he was con- 
versant with the French language may be seen from the 
style of his letter to Cherubini (in the Third Period) ; 
and other examples of the same kind might be quoted. 
That he was better acquainted with it in his earlier days, 
before his deafness rendered him incapable of joining in 
conversation, may be readily presumed. As to Italian, he 
could only read it. Beethoven greatly admired the classic 
writers of antiquity, and perused their works in the best 
translations, of all of which he possessed copies. This 
industrious reading, combined with his vast musical labors, 
left him little time for the study of languages. He had, 
however, as intimate a knowledge of the translated works 
of some of the Greek authors as he had of his own sco::es. 
With Shakspeare, also, he was equally well acquainted. 
In his friends, he required the same extent of reading, 
otherwise, their society became wearisome to him. 

I feel bound to notice seme observations made by M. von 
Seyfried, on the subject of Beethoven's housekeeping. At 
page 16 of his publication, he states, that "Beethoven 
used to go himself to market ; and after bargaining and 
puying, not at the best price, he would return homo and 

* Beethoven Studien, p. M. 


cook, with his own hands, the articles he had purchased," 
&c. M. Seyfried! "Quosque tandem?" Is it not 
usual for persons in the most respectable conditions of life 
to purchase rare vegetables or fruit for the table ? Beetho- 
ven did so : but, when he wished to furnish his table with 
some rarities for his guests, his housekeeper accompanied 
him, and carried home what he purchased; and he always 
purchased the best. His old housekeeper, on the contrary, 
was not so nice in her selection. Had M. von Seyfried 
ever been Beethoven's guest, he might have persuaded 
himself that his table was not ill provided. But that 
Beethoven should have been so far the victim of suspicion 
as to be induced, by an absurd distrust of others, to cook 
his own food, is a circumstance which I never heard of; 
and other friends of the great composer, to whom I have 
applied for information, disclaim, in like manner, all 
knowledge of the fact. However, as Beethoven was very 
fond of a joke, it is not impossible that he may have got up 
this cookery farce, for the sake of mystifying some of his 
guests. Nevertheless, thus much is certain, that, in his 
latter daj-s, he carried his suspicious feeling to such an 
extreme, that he would trust nobody to pay the most 
trifling bills for him, and would often doubt the authen- 
ticity of a receipt. This suspicion extended even to his 
trustworthy old housekeeper. M. von Seyfried must par- 
don this comment on his statements. The exaggeration 
was, doubtless, on his part, unintentional : he wrote from 
hearsay, a medium through which facts are frequently al- 
tered and perverted. In the year 1805, he was, as he men- 
tions, on a footing of intimate intercourse with Beethoven ; 
but that intimacy did not extend, either to a previous or a 
subsequent period. However, the suspension of personal 
communication had not the effect of diminishing the respect 
entertained for Beethoven by M. von Seyfried: that able 
artist did not regard our great composer with the jaundice 1 
eye with which he was regarded by certain hommes Jr 
wetier. M. von Seyfried is one of the few who understood 
and appreciated Beethoven's inward worth, without being 
misled by outward appearances. (See p. 27, of his work) 
The ioubt.s respecting the genuineness of many manu- 


scripts attributed to Beethoven, which have come to light 
since his death, are worthy of consideration.* A great 
deal of imposition has already been practised, and will 
probably be carried still further ; consequently, only Beet- 
hoven's handwriting, or his attestation to the authenticity 
of the manuscripts, can remove doubts on the subject. 

I will mention one instance out of many, to show how 
far unblushing effrontery has already been carried on this 
point. In the year 1827, a few months after Beethoven's 

death, a certain M. E offered for sale to the Messrs. 

Schott, in Mainz, an opera, alleged to be composed by 
Beethoven. Those publishers, having consulted me on 
the business, I advised them to demand a sight of the 
work in Beethoven's handwriting, adding, that there 
existed no authentic manuscript opera by Beethoven. 
The particulars of this not unimportant affair were pub- 
lished in 1828, in the 7th volume of the Csecilia. 

It is a positive fact, that Beethoven never wrote any 
scientific work, either on music or any other subject. 
Whatever works, therefore, may have been published under 
his name cannot be authenticated upon autographic evi- 

I will wind up these biographical particulars with a 
description of the great master's personal appearance, 
together with a few remarks on the best portraits of him 
with which I am acquainted. 

Beethoven's height scarcely exceeded five feet four 
inches, Vienna measure. His figure was compact, strong, 
and muscular. His head, which was unusually large, was 
covered with long, bushy, gray hair, which, being always 
in a state of disorder, gave a certain wildness to his appear- 
ance. This wildness was not a little heightened when he 
suffered his beard to grow to a great length, as he fre- 
quently did. His forehead was high and expanded ; and 
he had small brown eyes, which, when he laughed, seemed 
to be nearly sunk in his head; but, on the other hand, 
they were suddenly distended to an unusually large size 
when one of his musical ideas took possession of his mind. 

* Kle, in hia Notiien, p. 124, seta forth at length the reason* for the** 


On such occasions, he would look upwards, his eyes rolling 
and flashing brightly, or straight forward, with his eye- 
balls fixed and motionless. His whole personal appear- 
ance then underwent a sudden and striking change. There 
was an air of inspiration and dignity in his aspect ; and 
his diminutive figure seemed to tower to the gigantic 
proportions of his mind. These fits of sudden inspiration 
frequently came upon Beethoven when he was in company, 
and even when he was in the street, where he naturally 
excited the marked attention of every passer-by. Every 
thought that arose in his mind was expressed in his ani 
mated countenance. He never gesticulated, either with 
his head or his hands, except when he was standing before 
the orchestra. His mouth was well formed; his under 
lip (at least, in his younger years) protruded a little, and 
his nose was rather broad. His smile diifused an exceed- 
ingly amiable and animated expression over his counte- 
nance, which, when he was in conversation with strangers, 
had a peculiarly pleasing and encouraging effect. But, 
though his smile was agreeable, his laugh was otherwise. 
It was too loud, and distorted his intelligent and strongly- 
marked features. When he laughed, his large head seemed 
to grow larger, his face became broader, and he might 
not inaptly have been likened to a grinning ape ; but, for- 
tunately, his fits of laughter were of very transient dura- 
tion. His chin was marked in the middle, and on each 
side, with a long furrow, which imparted a striking pecu- 
liarity to that part of his countenance. His complexion 
was of a yellowish tint, which, however, went off in the 
summer season, when he was accustomed to be much out 
in the open air. His plump cheeks were then suffused with 
fresh hues of red and brown. 

Under this latter aspect, full of health and vigor, and 
during one of his intervals of inspiration, the painter, H. 
Schimon (now in Munich), took his likeness. The picture 
is a bust size, in oil. At the time it was painted, Beetho- 
ven was forty-nine years old. The engraving prefixed to 
this work is taken from it. Some years after this picture 
was painted, another was executed by Stieler, the portrait- 
paipterto the court of Munich. This is a half-length ; and 


the composer is represented, with a pen in hia hand, 
writing on a piece of music-paper the words, " Missa So- 
lennis." This picture is excellent, and the likeness faith- 
ful ; but it has not the air of vigor and animation portrayed 
in that of Schimon, the absence of which may be easily 
accounted for, Beethoven having suffered a fit of illness of 
two years' duration. But he remained as Stieler's portrait 
represents him until his death, which took place five years 
after the picture was painted. Beethoven's family possess 
a portrait of him, which was painted at an earlier period 
than either of those I have described. It is a half-length, 
and represents him in a sitting posture. 

These three pictures are the only ones which can be 
relied on, as likenesses of the great composer, and as worthy 
of the attention of his admirers. The few others which 
are here and there to be seen are valueless, having been 
painted merely from the imagination of the artists. 

The same remark is applicable to most of the copper- 
plate and lithographic portraits of Beethoven. Excepting 
the copperplate engraving by Letronne, and the litho- 
graphic drawing after Stieler's picture (however, only those 
published by Trentschensky, late Artaria, in Vienna), I 
know of no print which conveys an accurate idea of the 
countenance of my beloved friend and master, that coun- 
tenance which I fancy I still behold, living and before 

[The author of this Biography adds here an Appendix, which I 
have omitted, as having too little relation with the object of this 
work, aud by his own authorization to the publisher. It suffices 
to mention, that it treats of the state of music at Miinster and 
Aix-la-Chapelle. In the first town, M. Schindler lived three years 
as director of a musical institute, and since 1835 he has been mu- 
sic-director at Aix-la-Chapelle. In both these towns he has en- 
deavored, more or less successfully, to exalt the tase for classical 
music. He bears testimony, also, against the eccentricity and 
degeneracy of the modern style of piano-forte playing, particularly 
in reference to the manner of performing Beethoven's music, and 
draws the attention of the musical world to a most promising tal- 
ent, a Mdlle. Hansemann, in Aix-la-Chapelle, his pupil. This 
lady, according to his expectations, will develop, in her style of 
playing, the true spirit of Beethoven. Eo.J 


No. I. 

Letters from Beethoven to Kappell-meister Hofmeister and C. F, 
Peters, Music Publishers, relative to the Sale of Some of hit Com- 

The many attacks which have recently been made on the copy- 
right of works by L. van Beethoven, which are my property, induce 
me to give a list of the compositions purchased from that author, 
which are the legitimate property of my house ; namely : 

Concerto pour le Piano-forte avec Orch. . . 

Septuor pour Violon., Alto, Clar., Cor., Basson, Violoncello, et Con- 


Premiere gr. Sinfonie pour Orchestra 
Gr. Senate pour le Piano-forte 

Deux Preludes dans tous les 12 tons majeurs 

ou POrgue 

Romance pour Violon avec Orchestre 
Sfrgnade pour le Pfte. et Flftte (ou Violon) 
Notturno pour Pianof. et Alto . 
Ouverture de Prometheus, pour Orchestre 
Quatorze Variations pour le Piano, Vln., et Violoncello 

pour le 


Op. 19 



Respecting the works Op. 20 and 21, which have lately been 
invaded without my consent, by arrangements by other hands, 1 
find myself obliged to communicate the letters written on the sub- 
ject by Beethoven in the years 1800 and 1801, which incontest- 
ably prove on the one hand my exclusive property in these 
compositions (as also in Op. 19 and 22), and furnish, on the other, 
a highly interesting illustration of the individuality of the great 

* These letters are addressed to the Kappell-meister Hoftneister, who, under the 
flrm of Hofmeister and Kuhnel, Bureau de Musique, commenced the correspond- 
ence in the year 1800 with his friend Beethoven. That firm afterwards changed 
Us designation, though retaining all its copyrights, to A. Kuhnel, Bureau do 
Musique : the business was next transferred, with the same proviso, to C. F. 
p eters, of whose heirs it was purchased by me in 1828, likewise with ail UH 
opyrighU. C. a. S.BSkme. 



composer, then in the flower of his age. I keep back the evidence 
in regard to the other six works, Op. 39-44, till a similar attack, 
which I hope will not occur, shall be made upon them. 

C. G. S. BOHME, 

of the firm of C. F. Peters, Bureau de Afusique. 
IBOB ZBTOHSUT Ftte-MusiK, LEIPSIC, March 7, 1887. 

Letters from Beethoven. 


VIENNA, Dec. 16, 1800. 

My dearest Brother in the Art, I have many tunes thought of 
answering your inquiries, but am a dreadfully lazy correspondent ; 
and thus I am an age making up my mind to form the dead letter 
instead of the musical note ; but at length I have done violence to 
myself in order to comply with your request. 

Pro primo, you are to hear of my regret, dearest brother in the 
art, at your not having applied to me sooner, so that you might 
have purchased my Quartettes, as well as many other things which 
I have now disposed of ; but if you, my good brother, are as con- 
scientious as many other honest engravers, who sting * us poor 
composers to death, you will know how to make a profit by them 
when they come out. 

I will therefore briefly state what my good brother may have 
of me. 

Istly. A Septette per il Violino, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabasso, 
Clarinetto, Corno, Fagotto tutti obligati (I cannot write any- 
thing inobligato, because I came into the world with an obligato 
accompaniment). This Septette has been highly approved. 

2dly. A Grand Symphony for the orchestra. 

3dly. A Concerto for the Piano-forte, which, it is true, I do not 
assert to be one of my best, any more than another, which will be 
published here by Mollo (a hint for the Leipzig reviewers), since 
I reserve the better ones for my own use, in case I should make a 
musical tour; yet it would not disgrace you to publish it. 

4thly. A Grand Solo Sonata. 

This is all that I have to part with at this moment. By and by 

* The German word sttchen signifies both to engrave and to sting : hence 
arise* In the original a pan which cannot possibly be conveyed in the trans- 



you may have a quintette for stringed instruments, perhaps quar- 
tettes too, and other things which I have not by me just now. In 
your answer, you may fix your own prices ; aud as you are neither 
a Jew nor an Italian, and as I do not belong to either nation, we 
shall not disagree. 

Fare you well, my dearest brother, and be assured of tbn 
esteem of 

Your brother, 



VIENNA, the 15th (or some such day) of January, 1301. 

I have read your letter, my dearest brother and friend, with 
great pleasure. I thank you heartily for the good opinion which 
you have formed of me and of my works, and sincerely wish that 
I may deserve it ; and to M. K. (Kuhnel) also I am in duty bound 
to express my thanks for the civility and friendship which he has 
shown me. Your doings give me much satisfaction ; and I hope, 
that, if there be any good to be gained for the art by my works, it 
may fall to the share of a genuine artist like you, and not to that 
of common traders. 

Your intention to publish the works of Sebastian Bach is par- 
ticularly gratifying to me, since I am all alive to the merits of those 
sublime productions : truly, Bach was the patriarch of harmony. 
May the sale of his works flourish ! As soon as golden peace is 
proclaimed, and you receive the names of subscribers, I hope to br 
able to do much to forward it myself. 

As to our own affairs, since you will have it so, I offer you the 
following things : Septette (about which I have already written 
to you), 20 due. ; * Symphony, 20 due. ; Concerto, 10 due. ; Grand 
Solo, Sonata, Allegro, Adagio, Minuetto, Rondo, 20 due. Thh 
sonata (in B flat) is of the true mettle, most beloved brother. 

Now let me explain. You will perhaps be surprised that I make 
no difference between the sonata, the septette, and the symphony, 
because I find that a septette or a symphony has not so large a 
sale as a sonata ; that is the reason why I do so, though a sym- 
phony is incontestably of greater value. (N. B. The septette 
consists of a short introductory adagio, an allegro, adagio, rni- 
nuetto, andante with variations, minuetto, another short adagio 
leading to a presto.) The concerto I set down at 10 due., because, 
thougl well written, I do not consider it one of my best. Alto- 
gether I cannot think that this will appear exorbitant to you ; at 

* A ducat is about tea shillings English money. Bo. 


any rate, I have endeavored to make the charges as moderate aa 
possible. As for the bill, since you leave it to my option, let it be 
drawn on Geimiiller or Schiiller. The whole sum, then, for all 
four works, would be 70 ducats. I understand no other coin than 
Vienna ducats : how many dollars in gold that makes with you, I 
know nothing about, because I am really no man of business or 

And thus the tiresome business is settled : I call it so, because I 
heartily wish one could do without it in this world. There ought 
to be but one magazine of art, where the artist should have but to 
deliver his productions and to receive what he wants ; but, as it is, 
one ought to be half a tradesman, and how is that to be borne ? 

Gracious God ! that is what I call tiresome. As for the L 

O , let her talk : they will certainly not make anybody immor- 
tal by their tattle, nor will they rob him of immortality to whom 
Apollo has assigned it. 

Now, may heaven preserve you and your colleague 1 I have 
been unwell for some time ; so that I find it rather difficult to write 
even notes, much more letters. I hope we shall often have occa- 
sion to assure one another how much you are my friends, and how 
much I am Your brother and friend, 


A speedy answer. Adieu. 


VIENNA, April 22, 1801. 

You have reason to complain of me, and not a little. My excuse 
is this : I have been ill, and had, besides, a great deal to do, so that 
it was scarcely possible for me to think of what I had to send you. 
Then, again, perhaps the only thing like genius about me is, that my 
things are not always in the best of order, and yet nobody is ca- 
pable of putting them to rights but myself. Thus, for instance, 1 
had, according to my practice, omitted writing the piano-forte part 
in the score of my concerto; and I have but just written it; and 
therefore, for the sake of despatch, I send it in my own not over- 
and-above legible manuscript. 

In order to let the works follow as nearly as possible in their 
proper order, I remark to you that you may put 

To the Solo Sonata . . . Op. 22 

" Symphony . . . '* 21 

" Septette .... "20 

" Concerto .... " 1 

The titles I will send you very soon. 


Set me down as a subscriber to Johann Sebastian Bach's works, 
and also Prince Lichnowsky. The arrangement of Mozart's 
sonatas as quartettes will do you credit, and assuredly be profit- 
able. I wish I could be of more service in such matters ; but I am 
an irregular man, and, with the best will, forget every thing. But I 
have here and there mentioned the subject, and find that the plan 
is everywhere approved. It would be a capital thing if my good 
brother, besides publishing the septette as it is, would arrange it 
for the flute also as a quintette. This would be a treat for the 
lovers of the flute, who have already applied to me for this, and 
who would then swarm about it like insects, and feast upon it. As 
for myself, I have composed a ballet, but the ballet-master did not 
manage the business well. Prince L has given us a new pro- 
duction, which does not come up to the ideas which the papers 
gave us of his genius, a fresh proof of their judgment. The 

Prince seems to have taken Mr. M * of the Kasperle Theatre 

for his model, but without equalling even him. 

Such are the pretty prospects with which we poor fellows here 
have to fight our way in the world. 

My dear brother, now make haste to lay the workr before the 
eyes of the world, and write to me soon, that I may know whether I 
have lost your confidence by my neglect. 

To your partner Kiihnel every thing civil and kind- In future, 
you shall have every thing without delay ; and herewith fare you 
well, and continue to regard 

Your friend and brother. 


VIENNA, June 1801. 

I am really somewhat surprised at .the communication aiade to 
me by your agent in this place ; nay, I am almost angry that you 
should think me capable of such a scurvy trick. 

It would be a different thing if I had bargained for my things 
with shopkeepers, intent only on gain, and had then clandestinely 
made another good speculation ; but, between artist and artist, it 
is rather too bad to impute such conduct to me. The whole 
appears to me to be either an invention to try me, or mere conjec- 
ture ; at any rate, I confess, that, before you received the septette 
from me, I had sent it to London to M. Salomon (merely out of 
friendship, to be performed at his concert), expressly desiring him 
to take care not to let it get into other hands, as I meant to have 
it engraved in Germany ; and you can make inquiry of him con 
cerning this matter, if you think fit. 

* Wenxel Mttltor. 


But, to give you a further proof of my honesty, I hereby assun 
you that I have not sold the septette, the concerto, the symphony, 
and the sonata to any other person in the world but to you. 
Messrs. Hofmeister and Kiihnel, and that you may formally con- 
sider them as your exclusive property, for which I pledge my 
honor. At any rate, you may make what use you please of this 

For the rest, I can no more believe that Salomon is capable of 
so ba,se a trick as to publish the septette than I am to have sold i t 
to him. I am so conscientious, that I have refused several publish- 
ers the piano-forte arrangement of the septette, for which they have 
applied to me ; * and yet I do not even know whether you intend 
to make use of it in this manner. 

Here follow the long-promised titles of my works. 

In the titles, there will be much to alter and improve : that I 
leave to you. I expect a letter from you immediately, and very 
soon the works, which I wish to see engraved, since others are 
already published, and coming out with numbers relating to these. 

I have written to Salomon ; but considering your statement as 
a mere rumor which you have taken up rather too credulously, or 
as a conjecture which may have forced itself upon you, because 
you may accidentally have heard that I had sent it to Salomon, it 
only remains for me to add, that I feel somewhat chilled towards 
friends so easy of belief, and as such sign myself, 

lour friend, 

1i. v, BEETHOVEN. 


Vnnrau, April 8, 1802. 

Does the Devil then ride you all together, gentlemen, to propose 
to me to make such a sonata ? 

During the revolutionary fever, well and good, such a thing 
might have been done ; but now, when every thing is getting into 
the old track, when Bonaparte has concluded a concordat with 
the Pope, such a sonata ! 

Were it a " Missa pro Sancta Maria," a tre voci, or a vesper, why 
then 1 would immediately take up the pencil, and write in hug<! 
semi-breves a credo in unum ; but, gracious God ! such a sonata 
in these new-fangled Christian times! Ho, ho! leave me alone 
that won't do. 

* It is remarkable that Beethoven, even at that time, should manifest In these 
lines so correct a notion of musical copyright Though no man of business, he 
perceive! that the purchaser of the origin:! 1 melody must at the same time have 
a right of property of all arrangements, if copyright is to be maintained in 


Now my answer in the quickest tempo. The lady can have a 
sonata by me, and I will follow her general design as far as aesthe- 
tic goes, but without following the prescribed keys, price five 
ducats, for which she shall have the use of it a year, and in that 
time neither she nor I shall have the right to publish it. After 
the expiration of this year, the sonata is again mine : that is, I 
can and will publish it ; and she can, certainly, if she thinks that 
it will be any honor, request me to dedicate it to her. 

Now, God preserve you, gentlemen. 

My sonata is beautifully engraved, but it has been a confounded 
long while a-doing. Do send my septette a little quicker into the 
world, because the P is waiting for it, and you know the Em- 
press has it ; and so that I cannot answer for what may happen, 
therefore look sharp. 

Mr. has lately republished my quartettes, in large and small 
size, full of blunders and errata. They swarm in them like fish 
in water, that is, to infinity, questo un piacere per un autore 
that I call stinging * to some purpose. My skin is covered with 
stings and scratches with these charming editions of my quar- 

Now farewell, and think of me as I do of you. Till death 
your faithful 



VIENNA, Sept 22, 1803. 

Hereby, then, I declare all the works about which you have writ- 
ten, as your property. Another copy shall be made of the list of 
them, and sent to you with my signature as your acknowledged 
property ; and the offer of fifty ducats I accept. Are you satis- 
fied now ? 

Perhaps, instead of the variations with violoncello and violin, 
I can give you variations on the piano-forte, for two performers, 
on a song by me, the poetry of which, by Gb'the, must likewise be 
engraved, as I have written these variations as a souvenir in 
an album, and consider them better than the others. Are you 
satisfied ? 

The arrangements f are not by me, but I have revised and im- 
proved them in part, so don't pretend to say that I have arranged, 
as that would be a lie, and I could not find either time or patience 
for such things. Are you satisfied ? 

The same pun with the word stechen that has been remarked before, 
t This alludes either to the Italian and German Songs (four numbers) pub 
itched by me, or .he Italian and German Ariettes, Op. 82. 


Now farewell. I can but wish you to thrive in every way 
Gladly would I make you a present of the whole, if I could get 
through the world in that way ; but only consider : all about me 
get appointments, and have something certain to live upon ; but, 
gracious God 1 how can a parvum talentum com ego look for an 
appointment at the Imperial court ? 

Your friend, 


z following are extracts from letters written at a later and 
less cheerful period of life, and addressed to M. C. F. Peters of 
Leipsic : 


VIENNA. July 26, 1822. 

I write to you merely to say that you shall have the mass,* 
together with a piano-forte arrangement, for the sum of one thousand 
florins, Vienna currency. By the end of July you shall receive it, 
fairly copied in .score, perhaps a few days later, as I am exceed- 
ingly busy, and have been, for five months, ailing ; as one must go 
through works very carefully, if they are to go abroad, this is a 
matter that proceeds rather more slowly with me. shall in 
no case have any thing more from me, as he has played me a Jewish 
trick : besides, he is not one of those to whom I would have sold 
(he mass. The competition for my works is at present very strong, 
tor which I thank the Almighty, for I have lost a great deal. 

I am, moreover, the foster-father of my brother's child, who is left 
wholly unprovided for. As this boy, now fifteen years old, shows 
a great capacity for the sciences, not only do his education and 
maintenance cost me a great deal of money at present, but I am 
obliged to think about the future, as we are neither Indians nor 
Cherokees, who, as you know, leave every thing to God Almighty ; 
and a pauper has but a melancholy existence of it. 

I assure you, upon my honor, which, next to God, is the most 
sacred thing with me, that I have never asked any one to take 
commissions for me. I have always made it a particular point not 
to offer myself to any publisher, not out of pride, but because I 
wished to know how far the territory of my humble talent ex- 
tends ..... 

I conclude for to-day, wishing you all prosperity, and am, with 
esteem, Your most obedient, 


* This probably means the Missa Solemnis (Op. 123), afterwards published by 
the brothers Schott; for that brought out by Breltkopf and Hartel (Op. 86) had 
appeared long before the date of this letter. 



VIENNA, Aug. 3, 1822. 

I wrote to you lately about my health, which is not yet quite 
restored : I am obliged to take baths, mineral waters, and at times 

I am therefore rather at sixes and sevens, especially as I am 
obliged at the same time to write; and then corrections run away 
with time. In respect to the songs, and the other marches and 
trifles, I have not yet made up my mind as to the choice ; but 1 
shall be able to furnish every thing by the 15th of this month. 
I wait your determination about it, and shall make no use of your 
bill. As soon as I know that the money for the mass and for 
the other works is here, all can be supplied by the 15th instant ; 
but, after the 15th, I must go to a neighboring bathing-place. 1 
am therefore desirous to have no engagements on my hands for a 

About all other matters, some day when I am not so pressed. 
Only do not take an unhandsome advantage of me : it pains me 
when I am obliged to bargain. 

In haste, with respect, 

Your most obedient, 



VIENNA, Nov. 22, 1822. 

In reply to your letter of the 9th of November, in which I 
fancied you meant to reproach me for my apparent neglect, and 
the money paid too, and yet nothing sent to you, unhandsome as 
this seems, I am sure you would be reconciled with me in a few 
minutes if we were together. 

Your things are all done, except the selection of the Songs : they 
contain one more than was agreed upon. 

Of Bagatelles, I can send you more than the four determined 
upon : there are nine or ten others ; and, if you write immediately, 
I could send them, or as many as you wish to have, along with the 
other things. 

My health is not indeed completely restored by my baths, but I 
am better upon the whole : but another evil has now come upon 
me, since a person has taken me a lodging that does not suit me ; 
and this is difficult to conquer, and has hindered me not a little, 
an I cannot yet get myself to rights here. 

In regard to the mass, the matter stands thus : I have one that 


has long been completely finished, but another that is not ; tattle 
is what such as we are always liable to, and so you have been led 
into a mistake by it. Which of the two you should have, I know 
not yet : harassed on all sides, I should be forced almost to attest 
the contrary of the axiom, " The mind weighs nothing." I salute 
you cordially, and hope that the future will suffer an advantage- 
ous, and for me not dishonorable, connection to subsist between us. 



VIENNA, Dec. 20, 1822. 

Haying a leisure moment, I answer your letter to-day. Out of 
all that belongs to you, there is nothing that is not ready ; but 
precious time is wanting to explain all the details that have pre- 
vented the copying and sending. 

I recollect to have offered you in my last letter some more Baga- 
telles, but do not insist on your taking them. If you will not have 
more than the four, so be it ; only in that case I must make a dif- 
ferent choice. Mr. has not yet got any thing from me. Mr. 

merely begged me to make him a present of the songs in the 

" Mode Zeitung " (" Journal of Fashion"), which I never composed 
exactly for pay, but it is impossible for me to deal in all cases by 
per cents : it is difficult for me to reckon by them oftener than I 
am forced to do ; besides, my situation is not so brilliant as you 

It is impossible to give ear at once to all these solicitations ; 
they are too numerous : but many things are not to be refused. 
Not always is that which people ask for suitable to the wish of the 
author. Had I any thing in the shape of a salary, I would write 
nothing but grand symphonies, church music, and besides, per- 
haps, quartettes. 

Of smaller works, you might have, " Variations " for two oboes 
and one English horn on the theme in Don Giovanni, " La ci 
darem la mano ; " a ' Minuet of Congratulation " for a whole orches- 
tra.* I should like to have your opinion, too, respecting the publi- 
cation of the collected works. In the greatest haste, 

I our most obedient, 


* The compositions mentioned above by Beethoven have, as far as we know 
never appeared In print, and were probably disposed of at the sale of his effect* 



VIBKMA, March 29, i823. 

It is only to-day that the other three marches can be sent off ; 
we missed the post this day week. Irregular as I have been with 
you on this occasion, it would not appear unnatural if you wero 
here, and acquainted with my situation, a description of which 
would be too tedious for you as well as myself. 

Respecting what has been sent off, I have this remark yet to 
make: in the Grand March, which requires so many performers, 
several regimental bands may unite ; where this is not the case, 
and one regimental band is not strong enough, the Kapell-meister 
of such a band may easily help himself by the omission of some 
of the parts. 

You will meet with some one in Leipzig who can show you how 
this can be managed with fewer performers, though I should be 
sorry if it were not to be published exactly as it stands. 

I must beg you to forgive the many corrections in what you have 
received : my old copyist cannot see, and the younger must first 
be trained ; but at least the whole is free from errors. 

With a violin and a piano-forte quartette, it is impossible to 
supply you immediately ; but if you write to me betimes, in case 
you wish for both works, I will do all that lies in my power. Only 
I must add, that for a violin quartette I cannot take less than fifty 
ducats ; for a piano-forte quartette seventy ducats, or I should be 
a loser : nay, I have been offered more than fifty ducats a piece for 
violin quartettes ; but I never like to charge too high, and shall 
therefore expect no more than fifty ducats from you, which, in 
fact, is now the usual price. The other commission is really an 
extraordinary one, and I naturally accept that too ; only I must beg 
you to let me know soon, if you wish to have it, otherwise, will- 
ingly as I give you the preference, it might become almost impos- 
sible. You know I have already written to you that precisely 
quartettes have risen more in price than any thing else ; so that, in 
the case of a great work, this makes one quite ashamed of one's 
self. My circumstances, however, require that I should be more 
or less guided by profit. It is another affair with the work itself: 
there, thank God, I never think of profit, but only how I write. 

There are two persons besides yourself who have each wished 
to have a mass, since I intend to write at least three : the first 
has long been completed, the second is not, and the third is not yet 
begun. But in regard to you, I must have a certainty, that I may 
l>e insured against all events. 

More another day do not remit the money for the whol 


together till you receive advice from me that the work is ready tt 
be sent off. I must conclude. I hope that your vexation is now 
at least somewhat abated. Your friend, 


No. II. 

Letter on the First Appearance of Beethoven's " Fidelia." 

VIENNA, June 2, 1806. 
Dear Sister, and dear Wegeler, 

As far as I remember, I promised in my last letter to write to 
you about Beethoven's opera, " Fidelio." I know how interested 
you are about it, and I will fulfil my promise. The music is 
among the finest and most perfect that can be heard ; the subject 
interesting, for it represents the liberation of a captive through 
his faithful and intrepid wife : but, in spite of all this, no work 
has occasioned Beethoven more trouble than this ; and posterity 
alone will know how to value it. In the first place, it was given 
at a most unfavorable period, seven days after the entry of the 
French troops. The theatres were necessarily empty ; and Beet- 
hoven, who at the same time found fault with some arrangement 
in the libretto, withdrew it after the third representation. Peace 
having been restored, he and I took it up again. I altered the 
whole of the libretto for him, which made it act better, less tire- 
somely, and quicker ; and it was then given three times, with the 
greatest applause. Then his enemies about the theatre rose ; and 
he having given offence to many, particularly at the second rep- 
resentation, they have succeeded in preventing the further appear- 
ance of the work on the stage. Many difficulties had ere this beer, 
put in his way : one instance will suffice. He could not, at the 
secend representation, obtain the reprinting of the bills with the 
altered title of " Fidelio," so named in the French original, and 
published thus after the above-mentioned alterations. 

Contrary to promise and expectation, the first title of " Leono- 
ra " was retained in the bills. Beethoven is the more hurt by this 
intrigue, as the non-performance of the opera, for which he is to 
be paid by a percentage at its production, throws him back con- 
liderably in his pecuniary arrangements; whilst the unworthj 


treatment has robbed him of so great a share of his zeal and love 
for the work that he will recover himself but slowly. I think 1 
have on this occasion given him the most pleasure by writing and 
distributing in the theatre some lines on the opera, botli in Novem- 
ber, and at the production about the end of March. I will copy 
them here for Wegeler, knowing of old that he sets much value 
upon these things ; and, having once made verses to celebrate his 
becoming Rector magnificus celeberrimae universitatis Bonnensis, 
he may now see by comparison whether I am improved as a poet. 

[Here follow two German poems.] 

This copy has tired me out so completely, that I may fairly close 
this long epistle. I must only tell you that Lichnowsky has just 
sent the opera to the Queen of Prussia, and that I hope the 
Viennese will learn the value of what they possess, from its pro- 
duction at Berlin. 


No. III. 

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine von Arnim. 

[As I knew that my friend, Mr. H. F. Chorley, was in possession 
of copies of letters written by Beethoven to Madame Bettine von 
Arnim, I requested her permission to publish these highly-interest- 
ing documents, and received the following answer. ED.] 

BERLIN, July 6, 1840. 

Dear Mr. Moscheles, You delight me beyond measure by ask- 
ing me to consent to that, which of all earthly things I like best, 
namely, to be brought in contact with such of my cotemporanes 
as have become celebrated in literature and in the fine arts. How 
happy, then, must I feel at becoming instrumental in the fulfilment 
of any wish of yours ! Truly, there was no need of asking : I 
could not but feel honored to be included in this memorial of 
Beethoven, and by a brother-spirit in the art too. I feel truly 
grateful, that, while you are tracing the noblest features of Beetho- 
ven's glorious career, you will commemorate the happiness bestowed 
upon me by the greatest genius of his time. Misplaced, indeed, 
were that modesty, which could forbid my appearing in such a 
noble place, and under such distinguished auspices ; and I confess 
that you are doing me a kindness in publishing the letters in que 


tion. Could I but render you some service in return I And pray 
let Mr. Chorley have his share of my gratitude for having made 
such a happy use of my communication. 

Yours, &c., 



VIENNA, Aug. 11, 1810. 

Dearest Betiine, Never was a fairer spring than this year's : 
this I say, and feel too, as in it I made your acquaintance. You 
must indeed have yourself seen, that in society I was like a fish 
cast on the sand, that writhes and struggles, and cannot escape, 
until some benevolent Galatea helps it back again into the mighty 
sea : in very truth, I was fairly aground. Dearest Bettine, unex- 
pectedly I met you, and at a moment when chagrin had completely 
overcome me ; but truly your aspect put it to flight. I was aware 
in an instant that you belong to a totally different world from this 
absurd one, to which, even with the best wish to be tolerant, it is 
impossible to open one's ears. I am myself a poor creature, and 
yet complain of others 1 this you will, however, forgive, with the 
kindly heart that looks out from your eyes, and with the intelli- 
gence that dwells in your ears : at least, your ears know how to 
flatter when they listen. Mine, alas ! are a barrier through which 
I can have hardly any friendly intercourse with mankind, else, 
perhaps, I might have acquired a still more entire confidence in 
you. As it was, I could only comprehend the full expressive 
glance of your eyes ; and this has so moved me that I shall never 
forget it. Divine Bettine, dearest girl I Art ! who comprehends 
the meaning of this word ? with whom may I speak of this great 
divinity ? how I love the recollections of the few days when we 
used to chat with each other, or rather correspond. I have pre- 
served every one of the little scraps of paper on which your intel- 
ligent, precious, most precious, replies were given. Thus, at least, 
may I thank my worthless ears that the best portion of our fugitive 
discourse is retained in writing. 

Since you went, I have had many uncomfortable hours, in which 
the power to do any thing is lost. After you had gone away, I 
rambled about for some three hours in the Museum at Sehb'nbrunn ; 
but no good angel met me there, to chide me into good humor, 
as an angel hike you might have done. Forgive, sweetest Bettine, 
this transition from the fun lamental key ; but I must have such 


intervals, to vent my feelings. And you have written of me to 
Gb'the. have you not ? saying that I would fain pack up my head 
in a cask, where I should see nothing, and hear nothing, of what 
passes in the world, since you, dearest angel, meet me here no 
longer. But surely I shall at least have a letter from you. Hope 
supports me : she is indeed the nursing mother of half the world, 
and she has been my close friend all my life long. What would 
have become of me else V I send with this, written in my o\in 
hand, " Kennst du das Land ? " as a memorial of the time when I 
first became acquainted with you : also I send another, which 1 
have composed since I took leave of you, dear, dearest heart 1 

" Heart, my heart, what change comes o'er thee ? 
What wrings thee thus with pain ? 
What a strange sour world 's before thee I 
I know thee scarce again I " 

Yes. dearest Bettine, answer me this question : write, and tell 
me what shall become of me since my heart has become such a 
rebel. Write to your truest friend, 


VIENNA, Feb. 10, 1811. 

My dear beloved Bettine ! I have now had two letters from 
you, and learn from your letter to Antonia that you continue to 
think, and indeed far too favorably, of me. Your first letter T 
carried about with me all the summer through, and it has often made 
me happy- Although I do not often write to you, and you may 
hear nothing from me, yet, in thought, I write to you a thousand 
thousands of letters. How you feel yourself in the presence of all 
this world's rubbish I could have fancied, even had I not read it in 
your letters, this haranguing and gossiping about art, without 
any thing done 1 The best delineation of this, that I know, is found 
in Schiller's poem " Die Fliisse," where the Spree * is made to 
speak. You are going to be married, dear Bettine, or are married 
already, and I have not been able to see you once more before 
this. M;iv every blessing which marriage can bestow flow upon 
you ancTyour husband ! What can I say to you of myself ? " Pity 
my fate ! " I exclaim with poor Johanna.f If I can but obtain 
a tew more years of lite, I will still thank for this, as for all othej 
weal and woe, the most High, the all-embracing Power. When 

* The river which waters Berlin. f (Jdthe'g poam. Johanna Hebu*. 


ever you write of me to Gothe, select any expression that you can 
use, so as to convey to him the most, fully my profound respect and 
admiration. I am, however, purposing to write to him myself, 
concerning " Egmont," which I have set to music : and this solely 
from love for his poetry, which makes me happy ; but, indeed, who 
can be sufficiently grateful to a great poet, the most precious jewel 
that a nation can possess ? And now I must end, dear, good 
Bettine. I returned this morning as late as four o'clock from a 
Bacchanalian revel, at which I was even made to laugh heartily, 
and for which I am now tempted to weep nearly as much. Up- 
roarious mirth often has the effect of casting me violently back 
upon myself. I owe Clemens * many thanks for his attention. As 
respects the cantata, the subject is not of sufficient importance 
.for us here : in Berlin it is a different matter. As regards our affec- 
tion, his sister has so much of mine, that not much will remain for 
the brother's portion : will he be contented with this ? And now 
farewell, my dear Bettine. I kiss you on the forehead, and there- 
with impress on it as with a seal all my thoughts for you. Write 
soon, write often, to your friend, 


TOPLTTZ, 1812. 

Dearest, good Bettine, Kings and princes can, indeed, create 
professors and privy councillors, and bedeck them with titles and 
orders ; but they cannot make great men, spirits that rise above 
the world's rubbish : these they must not attempt to create ; and 
therefore must these be held in honor. When two such come 
together as I and Gothe, these great lords must note what it is 
that passes for greatness with such as we. Yesterday, as we were 
returning homewards, we met the whole imperial family. We saw 
them coming at some distance, whereupon Gothe disengaged him- 
self from my arm, in order that he might stand aside : in spite of 
all I could say, I could not bring him a step forwards. I crushed 
my hat more furiously on my head, buttoned up my top-coat, and 
walked with my arms folded behind me, right through the thickest 
of the crowd. Princes and officials made a lane for me ; Arch- 
duke Rudolph took off his hat ; the Empress saluted me the first : 
these great people know me ! It was the greatest fun in the world 
to me, to see the procession file past Gothe. He stood aside, with 
his hat rff, bending his head down as low as possible. For this J 

* CtamenB Brentano, the j out. Bettice'c brother. 


afterwards called him over the coals properly and without mercy, 
ami brought up against him all his sins, especially those against 
you. dearest Bettine ! We had just been speaking of you. Good 
God ! could I have lived with you for so long a time as he did, be- 
lieve me, I should have produced far, far more great works than I 
have I A musician is also a poet : a pair of eyes more suddenly 
transport him, too, into a fairer world, where mighty spirits meet 
and play with him, and give him weighty tasks to fulfil. What a 
variety of things came into my imagination when I first became 
acquainted with you, during that delicious May-shower in tho 
Usser Observatory, and which to me also was a fertilizing one 1 
The most delightful themes stole from your image into my heart ; 
and they shall survive, and still delight the world, long after Beet- 
hoven has ceased to direct. If God bestows on me a year or two 
more of life, I must again see you, dearest, dear Bettine ; for tin 
voice within me, which always will be obeyed, says that I must. 
Love can exist between mind and mind, and I shall now be a 
wooer of yours. Your praise is dearer to me than all other in this 
world. I expressed to Gothe my opinion as to the manner in 
which praise affects those like us ; and that by those that resemble 
us we desire to be heard with understanding : emotion belongs to 
women only (pardon me for saying it ! ) ; the effect of music on a 
man should be to strike fire from his soul. Oh, my dearest girl 1 
how long have I known that we are of one mind in all things ! The 
only good is to have near us some fair, pure spirit, which we can 
;it, all times rely upon, and before which no concealment is needed. 
fie who will SEEM to be somewhat must really be what he would seem. 
The world must acknowledge him ; it is not forever unjust : 
although this concerns me in nowise, for I have a higher aim than 
this. I hope to find at Vienna a letter from you : write to me soon, 
very soon, and very $' "v. I shall be there in a week from hence. 
The court departs tu-morrow : there is another performance to-day. 
The Empress has thoroughly learned her part : the Archduke and 
the Emperor wished me to perform again some of my own music. 
I refused them both : they have both fallen in love with Chinese 
porcelain. This is a case for compassion only, as reason has lost 
its control ; but I will not be piper to such absurd dancing. I 
will not be comrade in such absurd performances with the fine 
folks, who are ever sinning in that fashion. Adieu I adieu ! dearest : 
your last letter lay all night on my heart and refreshed me. Musi- 
cians take all sorts of liberties ! Good Heaven ! how I love you ! 
Your truest friend, and deaf brother, 



No. IV. 
Letter of Madame Bettine von Arnim to GSthe.* 

28, 1810. 

. . . And now I am going to speak to you of one who 
made me forget all the world besides. The world vanishes when 
recollections spring up, indeed it vanishes. It is Beethoven who 
made it vanish before me, and of whom I would fain speak to 
you. It is true I am not of age ; yet I would boldly assert that he 
has far outstepped our generation, too far, perhaps, to be come up 
with : (shall I be understood or believed in this assertion ? ) Nc 
matter. May he but live until the great and mighty problem of 
his mind has ripened into maturity ; may he but attain his own 
noble aim, and he will carry us on to loftier regions, to bliss more 
perfect, than is yet known to us. Let me own it to you, dear 
Gothe, I do believe in a spell, not of this world, the element of 
our spiritual nature ; and it is this that Beethoven calls around us 
by his art. If you would understand him, you must enter into his 
own magic circle ; you must follow him to his exalted position, and 
occupy with him that high station which he alone can claim for a 
basis in this sublunary world. You will, I know, guess at my 
meaning, and extract truth from it. When could such a mind be 
reproduced ? when equalled V As to other men, their doings are 
but' mechanical clock-work compared to his : he alone freely cre- 
ates, and his creations are unthought of. What, indeed, could the 
intercourse with this world be to him, who before sunrise is at his 
holy work, who after sunset scarcely looks up from it, who forgets 
his bodily food, and, carried past the shallow banks of every-ctay 
life, is borne along the current of enthusiasm ? He said himself, 
" When I lift up mine eyes I must sigh, for that which I behold is 
against my creed ; and I must despise the world, because it knows 
not that music is a higher revelation than science or philosophy. 
Music is like wine, inflaming men's minds to new achievements ; 
and I am the Bacchus serving it out to them, even unto intoxica- 
tion. When they are sobered down again, they shall find them- 
selves possessed of a spiritual draught such as shall remain with 
them even on dry land. I have no friend, I must live all to 
myself; yet I know that God is nearer to me than to my brothers 
in the art. I hold converse with him, and fear not, for I have 
always known and understood him. Nor do I fear for my works : 

* ttee Gothe'i Correspondence with a Child. 


no evil can befall them ; and whosoever shall understand them, he 
shall be freed from all such misery as burthens mankind." 

All this did Beethoven say to me the first time I saw him. A 
feeling of reverence came over me as I heard him speak his mind 
with such unbounded frankness, and that to me, who must have 
been wholly insignificant to him ; and I was perhaps the more 
struck with his openness, having often heard of his extreme 10- 
serve, and of his utter dislike to converse with any one. Thus U 
was that I could not get any one to introduce me to him ; but J 
found him out alone. He has three sets of apartments, in which 
he alternately secretes himself, one in the country, one in town, 
and a third on the ramparts (Bastei). It was there I found him, 
in the third floor. I entered unannounced. He was seated at the 
piano. 1 gave my name. He was most friendly, and asked me if I 
would hear a song which he had just been composing ; and sang, 
with a shrill and piercing voice, that made the hearer thrill with 
wofulness, " Know'st thou the land ? " " Is it not beautiful ? " said 
he enthusiastically ; " exquisitely beautiful 1 I will sing it again." 
He was pleased with my cheerful praise. "Most people are 
mooed on hearing music, but these have not musicians' souls : true 
musicians are too fiery to weep." He then sang another song of 
yours, which he had lately been composing : " Dry not, ye tears of 
eternal love." He accompanied me home ; and it was during our 
walk that he said all these fine things on the art, talking so loud 
all the while, and standing still so often, that it required some 
courage to listen to him in the street. He, however, spoke so pas- 
sionately, and all that he uttered startled me to such a degree, as 
made me forget even the street. They were all not a little sur- 
prised at home on seeing me enter the room with him, in the midst 
of a large dinner-party. After dinner he sat down to the instru- 
ment and played, unasked, wonderfully, and at great length. His 
pride and his genius were working that out together which to any 
mind but his would have been inconceivable, to any fingers but 
his, impossible of execution. 

He comes daily ever since ; if not, 1 go to him : and thus I miss 
all sorts of gayeties, theatres, picture-galleries, and even the mount- 
ing of St. Stephen's church-steeple. Beethoven says, " Never 
mind seeing these things : I shall call for you, and towards even- 
ing we shall walk together in the Schonbrunn avenues." Yester- 
day, as we were walking in a lovely garden, every thing in full 
bloom, and the open hot-houses almost intoxicating one's senses 
with their perfumes, he suddenly stopped in the oppressive heat 
of the sun, saying, " Gb'the's poems exercise a great sway over me. 
not only by their meaning, but by their rhythm also. It is a 
language that urges me on to composition, that builds up its OWE 
lofty standard, containing in itself all the mysteries of harmony, so 


that I have but to follow up the radiations of that centre from 
which melodies evolve spontaneously. I pursue them eagerly, 
overtake them, then again see them flying before me, vanish in the 
multitude of my impressions, until I seize them anew with increased 
vigor, no more to be parted from them. It is then that my trans- 
ports give them every diversity of modulation : it is I who triumph 
over the first of these musical thoughts, and the shape I give it, J 
call symphony. Yes; Bettina, music is the link between intellec- 
tual and sensual life. Would I could speak to Gothe on this 
subject, to see whether he could understand me ! Melody gives 
a sensible existence to poetry ; for does not the meaning of a poem 
become embodied in melody ? Does not Mignon's song breathe 
all her feelings through its melody, and must not these very feel- 
ings be reproductive in their turn ? The mind would embrace all 
thoughts, both high and low, and embody them into one stream of 
sensations, all sprung from simple melody, and without the aid 
of its charms doomed to die in oblivion. This is the unity which 
lives in my symphonies, numberless streamlets meandering on, 
in endless variety of shape, but all diverging into one common bed. 
Thus it is I feel that there is an indefinite something, an eternal, 
an infinite, to be attained ; and although I look upon my works 
with a foretaste of success, yet I cannot help wishing, like a child, 
to begin my task anew, at the very moment that my thundering 
appeal to my hearers seems to have forced my musical creed 
upon them, and thus to have exhausted the insatiable cravings of 
my soul after my ' beau ideal ! ' 

" Speak of me to Gothe : tell him to hear my symphonies, and 
he will agree with me that music alone ushers man into the portal 
of an intellectual world, ready to encompass him, but which he may 
never encompass. That mind alone whose every thought is rhythm 
can embody music, can comprehend its mysteries, its divine inspi- 
rations, and can alone speak to the senses of its intellectual reve- 
lations. Although spirits may feed upon it as we do upon air, yet 
it may not nourish all mortal men ; and those privileged few alone, 
who nave drawn from its heavenly source, may aspire to hold 
spiritual converse with it. How few are these ! for like the 
thousands who marry for love, and who profess love, whilst Love 
will single out but one amongst them, so also will thousands court 
Music, whilst she turns a deaf ear to all but the chosen few. She 
too, like her sister-arts, is based upon morality, that fountain- 
head of genuine invention. And would you know the true prin- 
ciple on which the arts may be won ? It is to bow to their immuta- 
ble terms, to lay all passion, and vexation of spirit, prostrate at 
their feet, and to approach their divine presence with a mind so 
calm, and so void of littleness, as to be ready to receive the dictates 
of Fantasy and the revelations of Truth. Thus the art become* 


a divinity, man approaches her with religious feelings, hit inspira- 
tions are God's divine gifts, and his aim fixed by the same hand 
from above, which helps him to attain it. 

" We know not whence our knowledge is derived. The seeds 
which lie dormant in us require the dew, the warmth, and the elec- 
tricity of the soil, to spring up, to ripen into thought, and to break 
forth. Music is the electrical soil in which the mind thrives, 
thinks, and invents, whilst philosophy damps its ardor in an attempt 
to reduce it to a fixed principle. 

" Although the mind can scarcely call its own that which it 
produces through inspiration, yet it feasts upon these productions, 
ami feels that in them alone lies its independence, its power, its 
approximation to the Deity, its intercourse with man ; and that 
these, more than all, bear witness of a beneficent Providence. 

" Music herself teaches us harmony ; for one musical thought 
bears upon the whole kindred of ideas, and each is linked to the 
other, closely and indissolubly, by the ties of harmony. 

" The mind creates more readily when touched by the electrical 
spark : my whole nature is electric. But let me cease with my 
unfathomable wisdom, or I might miss the rehearsal. Write of me 
to Gb'the, that is, if you have understood me ; but mark me, I am 
not answerable for any thing, although ready to be taught by him." 

I promised to write to you as best I could. He took me to a 
grand rehearsal with full orchestra. There I sat quite alone in a 
box, in the vast unlit space. Single gleams of light stole through 
crevices and knot-holes in the walls, dancing like a stream of glit- 
tering sparks. There I saw this great genius exercise his sove- 
reignty. O Gb'the ! no emperor or king feels so entirely his 
power, and that all might proceeds from himself, as this Beethoven, 
who but just, now in the garden was at a loss to find from whom 
it did come. He stood there with such firm decision : his gestures, 
his countenance, expressed the completion of his creation. He 
prevented every error, every misconception. Not a breath but was 
under command. All were set in the most sedulous activity by 
the majestic presence of his mind. One might prophesy that a 
spirit like this might, in a future state of perfection, re-appear as 
the ruler of a world. 

I put all this down last night, and this morning read it to him. 
He said, " Did I say this ? Well, then, I have had my raptus" 
He read it again most attentively, erased the above, and wrote 
between the lines ; for he wishes, above all, that you should under- 
stand him. 




Say every thing that is kind for me to Beethovtn, and that ) 
would willingly bring a sacrifice to make his acquaintance, when 
a mutual interchange of ideas would certainly lead to the most 
beneficial-results. Maybe you could persuade him to visit Karls- 
BacT andmeet me there on my annual tour ; for then I should have 
leisure to hear and be tutored by him. As to his being taught by 
me, that would be a sacrilege indeed, even in those more compe- 
tent than I am ; for surely his genius enlightens him, and will often 
dart flashes of brightness around him, whilst we are groping in 
the dark, scarcely sensible of the approaching dawn. I should be 
delighted if Beethoven would send me my two songs which he 
has composed, but clearly written. I am most anxious to hear 
them, since nothing gives me greater pleasure, and lays a firmer 
hold on my gratitude, than the finding such poems of a former 
period embodied and sensualized anew by music, as Beethoven 
justly calls it. 


Dearest Friend, I have shown Beethoven your beautiful letter, 
as far as it concerned him. He was overjoyed, and cried, " If any 
one can brighten him up about music, it is I." He was most en- 
thusiastic about your proposal of meeting him at Karlsbad, struck 
his forehead, and said, " Alight I not have done this before ? But 
i' faith, I did think of it, and was restrained by timidity : that will 
sometimes worry me as though I were not a man of the right met- 
tle ; but I am no more afraid of Gothe now. Make sure, therefore, 
of my seeing him next year." 

No. V. 


[Extract of a letter from Vienna to a frtend In London.] 

I now fulfil the promise I made on my departure for German} 
1 it summer, of giving you, from time to time, an account of what 

* From The Harmonlcon, January, 1824. 


over might appear interesting in the fine arts, particularly in mu- 
sic ; and, as I then told you that I should not confine myself to any 
order of time and place, I commence at once with Vienna. This 
is the city, which, speaking of music, must be called, by way of 
eminence, the capital of Germany. As to the sciences, it is quite 
otherwise ; it being generally considered as one of the most inferior 
of the German universities. The north of Germany has at all 
times possessed the best theorists, the Bachs, Marpurg, Kirn- 
berger, Schwenke, Turk ; but the men most celebrated for compo- 
sition were always more numerous in the south, above all in 
Vienna. Here Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Hummel, M. von Weber. 
Spohr, &c., not only received their musical education, but most of 
them produced the works which have acquired them the greatest 
celebrity; and, even at the present period, Vienna abounds with 
eminent musicians, C. Kreutzer, Stadier, Mayseder, C. Czerny, 
Pixis, and that young prodigy on the piano-forte, Liszt. To give 
you a succinct account only of the present state of music in Vienna 
would exceed the limits of a letter. I will therefore rather devote 
the remainder of this to one who is still the brightest ornament of 
that imperial city, to Beethoven. You must not, however, expect 
from me now any thing like a biography : that I shall reserve for a 
future communication. I wish now to give you only a short account 
of a single day's visit to the great man ; and if, in my narration, I 
should appear to dwell on trifling points, you will be good enough 
to attribute it to my veneration for Beethoven, which leads me to 
consider every thing highly interesting that is in the slightest degree 
connected with so distinguished a character. 

The 28th of September, 1823, will be ever recollected by me as 
a dies faustus ; in truth, I do not know that I ever spent a happier 
day. Early in the morning, I went, in company with two Vienna 
gentlemen, one of whom, Mr. H., is known as the very intimate 
friend of Beethoven, to the beautifully situated village of Baden,* 
about twelve miles from Vienna, where the latter usually resides din- 
ing the summer months. Being with Mr. H., I had not to encounter 
any difficulty in being admitted into his presence. He looked very 
sternly at me at first ; but he immediately after shook me heartily 
by the hand, as if an old acquaintance ; for he then clearly recol- 
lected my first visit to him in 1816, though it had been but of a 
very short duration, a proof of his excellent memory. 

I found, to my sincere regret, a considerable alteration in hia 
appearance ; and it immediately struck me that he looked very un- 
happy. The complaints he afterwards made to Mr. H. confirmed 
my apprehensions. I feared that he would not be able to under- 

* A neat little walled town of Austria, famous for its hot baths, seated on tin 
River Schwocha. This must not be confounded with the more celebrated towi 
f the same name in Switzerland. 


stand one word of what I said : in this, however, I rejoice to say, 1 
was much deceived ; for he made out very well all that I addressed 
to him slowly and in a loud tone. From his answers, it was clear 
that not a particle of what Mr. H. uttered had been lost, though 
neither the latter nor myself used a machine. From this, you will 
justly conclude that the accounts respecting his deafness latelj 
epread in London are much exaggerated. I should mention, 
though, that, when he plays on the piano-forte, it is generally at 
the expense of some twenty or thirty strings, he strikes the keys 
with so much force. Nothing can possibly be more lively, more 
animated, and, to use an epithet that so well characterizes his own 
symphonies, more energetic, than his conversation, when you have 
once succeeded in getting him into good hnmor; but one unlucky 
question, one ill-judged piece of advice, for instance, concerning 
the cure of his deafness, is quite sufficient to estrange him from 
you forever. 

He was desirous of ascertaining, for a particular composition he 
was then about, the highest possible note of the trombone, and 
questioned Mr. H. accordingly, but did not seem satisfied with his 
answers. He then told me that he had in general taken care to 
inform himself, through the different artists themselves, concerning 
the construction, character, and compass of all the principal in- 
struments. He introduced his nephew to me, a fine young man 
of about eighteen, who is the only relation with whom he lives on 
terms of friendship, saying, " You may propose to him an enigma 
in Greek, if you like ; " meaning, I was informed, to acquaint me 
with the young man's knowledge of that language. The history 
of this relative reflects the highest credit on Beethoven's goodness 
of heart : the most affectionate father could not have made greater 
sacrifices on his behalf than he has made. 

After we had been more than an hour with him, we agreed to 
meet at dinner, at one o'clock, in that most romantic and beautiful 
valley called das Helenenthal, about two miles from Baden. After 
having seen the baths and other curiosities of the town, we called 
again at his house about twelve o'clock ; and, as we found him 
already waiting for us, we immediately set out on our walk for the 
valley. Beethoven is a famous pedestrian, and delights in walks 
of many hours, particularly through wild and romantic scenery : 
nay, I was told that he sometimes passes whole nights on such ex- 
cursions, and is frequently missed at home for several days. On 
our way to the valley, he often stopped short, and pointed out to 
me its most beautiful spots, or noticed the defects of the new build- 
ings. At other times, he seemed quite lost in himself, and only 
hummed in an unintelligible manner. I understood, however, that 
this was 1 , the way he composed ; and I also learnt that he nevei 


writes one note down till he has formed a clear design for th 
whole piece. 

The day being remarkably fine, we dined in the open air ; and 
what seemed to please Beethoven extremely was, that we were 
the only visitors in the hotel, and quite by ourselves during the 
whole day. The Viennese repasts are famous all over Europe ; 
and that ordered for us was so luxurious, that Beethoven could not 
help making remarks on the profusion which it displayed. " Why 
such a variety of dishes ! " he exclaimed : " man is but little above 
other animals, if his chief pleasure is confined to a dinner-table." 
This and similar reflections he made during our meal. The only 
thing he likes in the way of food is fish, of which trout is his fa- 
vorite. He is a great enemy to all gene, and I believe that there 
is not another individual in Vienna who speaks with so little re- 
straint on all kinds of subjects, even political ones, as Beethoven. 
He hears badly, but he speaks remarkably well ; and his observa- 
tions are as characteristic and as original as his compositions. 

In the whole course of our table-talk, there was nothing so inter- 
esting as what he said about Handel. I sat close by him, and heard 
him assert very distinctly in German, " Handel is the greatest 
composer that ever lived." * I cannot describe to you with what 
pathos, and, I am inclined to say, with what sublimity of language, 
ne spoke of the Messiah of this immortal genius. Every one of 
us was moved when he said, " I would uncover my head, and kneel 
down on his tomb ! " H. and I tried repeatedly to turn the con- 
versation to Mozart, but without effect. I only heard him say, " In 
a monarchy we know who is the first ; " which might, or might not, 
apply to the subject. Mr. C. Czerny, who, by the by, knows every 
note of Beethoven's by heart, though he does not play one single 
composition of his own without the music before him, told me, 
however, that Beethoven was sometimes inexhaustible in his praise 
of Mozart. It is worthy of remark, that this great musician can- 
not bear to hear his own earlier works praised ; and I was apprised 
that a sure way to make him angry is to say something complimen- 
tary of his septettes, trios, &c. His latest productions, which 
are so little relished in London, but much admired by the young 
artists of Vienna, are his favorites : his Second Mass he looks 
upon as his best work, I understood. 

He is at present engaged in writing a new opera, called " Melu- 
sine," the words by the famous but unfortunate poet Grillparzer. He 
concerns himself very little about the newest productions of living 
composers, insomuch, that, when asked about the " Freischiitz," he 

* Mozart expressed himself in a similar manner; and Haydn, when at a pur- 
formance of the Messiah in Westminster Abbey, was nearly overpowered by iti 
tubllmr strains, and wept like a child. 


replied, " I believe one Weber has written it." You will be pleased 
to hear that he is a great admirer of the ancients. Homer, partic- 
ularly his " Odyssey," and Plutarch, he prefers to all the rest ; and, 
of the native poets, he studies Schiller and Gb'the, in preference to 
any other : this latter is his personal friend. He appears uniformly 
to entertain the most favorable opinion of the British nation. 
" I like," said he, " the noble simplicity of the English manners," 
and added other praises. It seemed to me as if he had yet some 
hopes of visiting this country, together with his nephew. I should 
not forget to mention, that I heard a MS. trio of his, for the piano- 
forte, violin, and violoncello, which I thought very beautiful, and 
is, I understood, to appear shortly in London. The portrait you 
see of him in the music-shops is not now like him, but may have 
been so eight or ten years back. I could tell you many things 
more of this extraordinary man, who, from what I have seen and 
learnt of him, has inspired me with the deepest veneration ; but I 
fear I have taken up your time already too much. The friendly 
and hearty manner in which he treated me, and bade me fare- 
well, has left an impression on my mind which will remain for 
life. Adieu. 


No. VI. 

[Extract from a letter written by an English lady, dated Vienna, October, 1826.] 

The imperial library is the finest room I ever saw, and the 
librarian very agreeable and obliging. What will you say when I 
tell you, that, after taking an infinity of trouble, he succeeded in 
obtaining for me an introduction to BEETHO VEX, who is exceedingly 
difficult of access ; but, in answer to the note requesting that I 
might be allowed to visit him, wrote, 

" Avec le plus grand plaisir je recevrai une fille de. . . . 


We went to Baden, a pretty little town in the Archduchy of 
Austria, about fifteen miles south-west of Vienna, much frequented 
for its hot baths (whence it derives its name, similarly to our 

Bath), where the yiant of living composers, as Mr. always 

pleases me by calling him, retires during the summer months. 

The people seemed surprised at our taking so much trouble ; for 

From The Harmonluou, December, 1836. 


unaccountable as it may seem to those who have any knowledge 
of or taste for music, his reign in Vienna is over, except in the 
hearts of a chosen few, with whom, by the by, I have not yet 
met . . . and I was even taught to expect a rough, un- 
ceremonious reception. When we arrived, he had just returned 
home, through a shower of rain, and was changing his coat. I 
almost began to be alarmed, after all that I had heard of his brusque' 
rie, lest he should not receive us very rordially, when he came 
forth from f he sanctum with a hurried step and apparently very 
nervous ; but he addressed us in so gentle, so courteous, so sweet 
a manner, and with such a truth in his sweetness, that I only know 
Mr. with whom he can be compared, whom he much resem- 
bles in features, person, address, and also in opinions. He is very 
short, extremely thin, and sufficiently attentive to personal ap- 
pearance. He observed that . . . was very fond of Handel, 
that he himself also loved him, and proceeded for some tune eulo- 
gizing that great composer. I conversed with him in writing, for 
I found it impossible to render myself audible ; and, though this 
was a very clumsy mode of communicating, it did not much signify, 
as he talked on, freely and willingly, and did not wait for ques- 
tions, or seem to expect long replies. I ventured to express my 
admiration of his compositions, and, among others, praised his 
" Adelaide " in terms by no means too strong for my sense of its beau 
ties. He very modestly remarked that the poetry was beautiful. 

Beethoven speaks good French, at least by comparison with 
most other Germans, and conversed a little with ... in Latin. 
He told us that he should have spoken English, but that his deaf- 
ness had prevented his acquiring more of our language >han the 
power of reading it. He said that he preferred English to French 
writers, .because " Us sont plus vrais." Thomson is his favorite 
author, but his admiration for Shakspeare is very great indeed. 

When we were about to retire, he desired us to stop. "Je veui 
vous donner un souvenir de moi." He then went to a table in an 
adjoining room, and wrote two lines of music, a little fugue for 
the piano-forte, and presented it to me in a most amiable man- 
ner. He afterwards desired that I would spell my name to him, 
that he might inscribe his impromptu to me correctly. He now 
took my arm, and led me into the room where he had written, that 
I might see the whole of his apartment, which was quite that of 
an author, but perfectly clean ; and, though indicating nothing 
like superfluity of wealth, did not show any want of either usefjl 
furniture, or neatness in arrangement. It must be recollected 
however, that this is his country residence, and that the Viennese 
are not so costly or particular in their domestic details as we Eng- 
lish. I led him back very gently to a room on the other side, in 
which was placed his grand piano-forte, by Broadwood ; but he 


looked, I thought, melancholy ;it the sight of it, and said that it 
was very much out of order, for the country tuner was exceedingly 
bad. He struck some notes to convince me ; nevertheless, I placed 
on the desk the page of MS. music which he had just given me ; 
and he played it through quite simply, but prefaced it by three or 
four chords, such handfuls of notes, that would have gone to 
Mr. 's heart. He then stopped, and I would not on any ac- 
count ask for more, as I found that he played without any satisfac- 
tion to himself. 

Ws took leave of each other in a tone, of what in France would 
be called confirmed friendship ; and he said, quite voluntarily, that, 
if he came to England, he would certainly pay us a visit. 

No. VII. 

Beethoven 9 s Letters to Mile, von Breuning, Wegeler, and Rie$. 


VIENNA, Nov. 2, 1798. 

Charming Eleonora, my dearest Friend, A year has elapsed 
since my stay in this capital, and this is the first letter you receive 
from me ; yet rest assured you have ever lived in my recollection. 
I have often conversed with you and yours, although not with that 
peace of mind which I could have desired ; for the late wretched 
altercation was hovering before me, showing me my own despicable 
conduct. But so it was ; and what would I not give, could I 
obliterate from the page of my life this past action, so degrading 
to my character, and so unlike my usual proceedings ? * It is true, 
there were many circumstances widening the breach between us ; 
and I presume, that in those whisperings, conveying to us our 
mutual expressions, lay the chief source of the growing evil. We 
both imagined that we spoke from conviction; and yet it was but 
in anger, and we were both of us deceived. Your good and noble 
mind has, I know, long forgiven me ; but they say that self-accusa- 
tion is the surest sign of contrition, and it is thus I wanted to stand 
before you. Now let us draw a veil over the whole affair ; taking 

* This fully proves that Beethoven always showed more contrition than hl 
fault could warrant. The cause of the altercation is not mentioned in Wegeier' 
Notisen, from which these letters are extracted. ED. 


a warning by it, that, should a difference arise between friends, 
they should not have recourse to a mediator, but explain face to 
face. You receive herewith a dedication from me to you ; and I 
only wish the work were greater and more worthy of you. They 
wanted me here to publish this little work ; and I avail myself of 
f he opportunity to give you, my charming Eleonora, a token of m\ 
friendship and esteem, as well as a proof that you and all yours 
are ever present to my memory. Accept this trifle as coming from 
a warm admirer. Oh ! if it could but give you pleasure, my wishes 
would be fulfilled.* Let it be a revival of the many blessed houra 
which I spent at your house : perhaps it may tend to recall me to 
your mind until I return, which, however, will not be so scon. 
How we will rejoice then, my dear friend : you will find me a more 
cheerful creature, whose days of trouble have passed away, their 
furrows smoothed by the lot of better days. Should you see B. 
Koch,f I beg you will tell her it is not fair that she has not once 
written to me, whilst I sent her two epistles, to MalchusJ three, 
and no answer. Tell her, that, if she chooses not to write, she should 
at least make Malchus do so. I venture to conclude with a request 
that I might be so happy as once more to be put in possession of 
an Angola waistcoat, knitted by your hand. Do excuse the 
troublesome request of your friend: it originates in a great predi- 
lection for all that comes from your hands, and, let me acknowledge 
the secret, in the gratification of my vanity, at being able to say 
that I possess something from one of the best and most charming 
young ladies of Bonn. I have still got the one which you were so 
kind as to give me at Bonn ; but the present fashion has made it 
look so antiquated, that I can only keep it in my wardrobe as your 
gift, and as such it will ever be dear to me. You would give me 
sincere pleasure were you to favor me soon with a letter. Should 
you like to have any of mine, I promise you I shall await the 
opportunity to show you in this, as in all other instances, how 
truly I am Your friend and admirer, 


P.S. The Variations will be somewhat difficult to play, partic- 
ularly the shake in the coda. || But let not that alarm you: it is 

Tiiis work was the Variations on \fozart's Figaro, " Se vuol ballare," 
(Dunst, 4th part. No. 27.) He afterwards dedicated a sonata, or rather sonatina, 
to her, which itppeared in Dunst's edition, 1st part, No. 64. 

f Barbara Koch, afterwards Countess Belderbusch, an intimate friend of 
Madame von Breuning, a lady distinguished alike in all the qualities which can 
adorn the mind of woman. She was surrounded not only by men of the highest 
talent, such as Beethoven, Roraberg. Beicha. &c., but science as well as rank 
did homage to her brilliant qualkius. 

1 Afterwards Count of Marienstadt, and a classical writer. 

5 Angola rabbits or silk hares. 

(i A shake is carried on through several bars with alternate fingers, w hilit thro! 
fingers are employed besides. The fingering is marked. 


so managed that you need only do the shake, leaving out the other 
notes, which occur in the violin part also. I should never have 
written such a thing, but that I had noticed an individual about 
Vienna, who, after having heard me extemporize the preceding 
evening, put down many of my peculiarities the next day, showing 
them off as his own.* Taking it for granted that such things would 
shortly appear, I thought it wiser to be the first to publish them. 
Another reason was to put the piano-forte masters of this place to 
confusion ; for many of them are my deadly enemies, and I thus 
take my revenge upon them, knowing how they will be asked every 
now and then to play these Variations, and to how little advantage 
my gentlemen will appear in them. 



I was most agreeably surprised by the beautiful cravat, the work 
of your hands. It created sensations of sorrow, much as I was 
pleased by the thing itself. This sorrow was called up by a recol- 
lection of former times, and by the shame I felt at your generous 
conduct. Truly, I did not think you had deemed me worthy of 
youV remembrance. Oh 1 could you have witnessed my feelings 
at yesterday's occurrence, you would not deem me guilty of extrava- 
gance when I assure you that your remembrance saddened me and 
called forth many tears. Do pray believe me, little as I may have 
deserved it, believe me, my friend (let me ever call you such), I 
have suffered much, and still suffer, from the loss of your friend- 
ship. Never shall I forget you and your dear mother. You were 
so kind to me that your loss cannot and will not so soon be made 
up to me. I know what I had, what I lost, and what you were to 
me ; but I must return to scenes equally painful for you to hear, as 
for me to relate, were I to fill up this blank. 

As a slight return for your kind recollection of me, I take the 
liberty of sending the Variations and the rondo with violin accom- 
paniments. I am very busy just now, or I would have copied the 
long-promised sonata for you. It is but a sketch in my manu- 
script ; and even Paraquin, clever as he is, would have had much 
difficulty in transcribing it. You may have the rondo copied, and 
return the score ; that which I now send is the only thing amongst 
my works which could be of use to you ; and, as you are about 

* Beethoveu complained to me of this musical espionage. He named to me the 
Abbe Gelinek, that most fertile writer of Variations, who always quartered him- 
self in his vicinity. Thin might have been the cause of Beethoven's alwayi 
choosing lodgings in apquare or on the rampar IB, 


going to Kerpen, I thought these trifles might afford yon some 

Farewell, my friend. I cannot possibly give you any ether name : 
indifferent as I may be to you, I hope you will believe in the assu- 
rance of my regard for yourself and your mother. Pray let me 
know if I have it in my power in any way to contribute to your 
pleasure ; it is the only remaining means of showing you my grati- 
tude for past kindness. A happy journey to you, and may your 
dearest mother return home perfectly recovered ! Do not forget 
Your still admiring friend, 




VIENNA, June 29, 1800.* 

My dear and beloved Wegeler, A thousand thanks to you for 
your recollection of me. I have not deserved it ; I have not even 
tried to deserve it ; and yet my most unpardonable carelessness 
cannot check your friendship, which remains pure and unshaken. 
Do not for a moment think that I could ibrget you, or any of those 
once so dear to me : there are times when I long for you, when I 
sincerely wi?h to stay with you for a while. My country and the 
charming place which gave me birth are ever before my eyes, 
their beauty undimmed as when I left them ; in short, I shall con- 
sider that time the happiest which leads me back to you all, once 
more greeting the Rhine in its patriarchal beauty. I cannot tell 
you when this may be ; but thus much I must say to you all, that 
you shall not see me until I am much greater, not greater only in 
my art, but better and more perfect as a man ; and then, if our 
country should be more nourishing, I will employ my art for the 
benefit of the poor only.f O blessed moment ! how happy do I 
deem myself that I can call thee forth, that I can myself create 
thee ! . . . You wish me to say something of my circum- 
stances. Why, they are by no means bad. Lichnowsky, who, im- 
probable as it may seem to you, from the little altercations we 
have had, but which tended only in confirming our friendship {, 

* The date of the year is wanting, but it is most probably 1800. 

f Bonn had, through the war, lost its prince, the court, the administrative 
body, in fact, all its resources. It never had any trade or manufactures. 

J Beethoven was most easily excited, and consequently very irritable ; but, 
when the first burst of passion had subsided, he had an open ear and a yielding 
heart for the reproofs or his friends. He would consequently be much more con- 
trite than the occasion warranted. I have now before me a note of his which 1 
received at Vienna, and which runs thus: "What an abominable picture of 
Myself you have shown me ! Ob ! I feel it : I am not worthy of your friendship, 


Lichnowsky, who has always been my warmest patron, has settled 
upon me the sum of six hundred florins, which 1 may draw until J 
find a convenient appointment ; my compositions are well paid, 
and I may say I have more orders than I can well execute, six or 
seven publishers, and more, being ready to take any of my works. 
I need no longer submit to being bargained with : I ask my terms, 
and am paid. You see this is an excellent thing ; as, for instance, 
I see a friend in want, and my purse does not at the moment per- 
mit me to assist him : I have but to sit down and write, and my 
friend is no longer in need. I am grown much more economical 
too. Should I remain here, I think I may rely upon having a day 
for a concert once a year. I have already had several. But an 
evil spirit, in the shape of my bad health, plays me false. My hear- 
ing has become Aveaker and weaker for the last three years ; and 
my constitution has been much weakened by a stomach complaint, 
fearfully increased during my stay here, which is said to be the 
cause of this evil. Frank wanted to restore my health by tonics, 
and my hearing by oil of almonds ; but, alack-a-day ! this was not 
to be. My hearing remained impaired, my digestion in its former 
condition. This continued till last autumn, when I was many a 
time in despair. A medical practitioner of the genus ass advised 
the cold bath for me ; a more rational one ordered me that of the 
Danube, which is tepid. This did wonders : my general health im- 
proved, my hearing continued bad, or became worse. Last winter, 
I was in a wretched state ; every ailment returning with renewed 
force, until about a month ago I went to Vering, judging that my 
case might require surgical as well as medical assistance, and hav- 
ing much confidence in his skill. He succeeded in alleviating my 
sufferings by the use of the tepid bath, into which was poured a 
strengthening mixture. He gave me no medicine : only four days 
ago I had some pills, besides a tea for my ears ; and I may say I 
feel stronger and better, but my ears 1 they are ringing and sing- 
ing night and day. I do think I spend a wretched life ; for the 
last two years shunning all society, because I cannot bring myself 
to walk up to people and say, " / am deaf." In any other profes- 
sion, this might pass ; but, in the one I have chosen, it is a wretched 
plight to be in. Besides, my enemies, who are not few in number, 
what would they say ? To give you a notion of this extraordinary 

I did not meditate a base action : it was thoughtlessness which urged me to my 
unpardonable conduct towards yc a." Thus he fills three pages ; and this is the 
end, " But no more. I fly to you, and in an embrace ask for my lost friend; 
and you will restore him to me, to your contrite, faithful, and loving friend, 
BEETHOVEN." The two letters to Mile, von Breuning, as above quoted, are of 
the same tenor. He had quarrelled with Stephen von Breuning (as with what 
friend did he not quarrel '') ; but, being marten sensible of his grievous wrong, ha 
wrote and acted in the s;.ne way, upon which the most heartfelt reconciliation 
took place; and the sincere*! friendship subsisted uninterruptedly between then 
until Beetborea's death. 


deafness, I mu^-t tell you that I am forced in a theatre to lean up 
iilose to the orchestra in order that I may understand the actor. 
I do not hear the high notes of instruments or singers at a certain 
distance ; and it is astonishing that there are individuals who never 
noticed it while conversing with me : from my having been subject 
to frequent reveries, they attribute my silence to these. I some- 
times near those who speak in a low voice ; that is to say, the 
sounds, but not the words : and yet, if any one begins to bawl out, 
it annoys me excessively. Heaven knows what it may erd in ! 
Vering says I shall certainly be much better, although I may not 
entirely recover. I have often cursed my existence : Plutarch has 
won me back to resignation. I will, if possible, defy my fate, 
although there will be moments when I shall be the most miserable 
of God's creatures. I beg of you not to mention ray affliction to 
any one no, not even to Laura. I confide this secret to you only, 
and should be glad if you would, some day, enter into correspond- 
ence upon it with Vering. Should it continue, I shall come to 
you next spring. You will take a cottage for me in some beauti- 
ful spot in the country, and there I shall ruralize for six months : 
perhaps that may work a change. Resignation ! what a miserable 
resource, and yet it is the only one left me. Do excuse my 
troubling you with my griefs, when you are already in sorrow 

Stephen Breuning is here ; and I see him daily, enjoying those 
recollections which his presence calls back to my mind. He is 
indeed grown an excellent fellow, as kind and true-hearted as I 
trust we all are. I have beautiful rooms just now, leading on to 
the Bastci (ramparts), and of infinite value to me, on account of 
my health. I believe I shall be able to prevail upon Breuning to 
come to me. You shall have your Antiochus, and plenty of my 
music, if you do not think they will put you to too much expense. 
Honestly speaking, I am truly pleased with your love of the art. 
Let me but know how, and I will send you all my works, which 
are now become pretty numerous, and daily increasing. I send 
you in exchange for my grandfather's picture, which I beg you will 
forward to me by coach, that of his grandson, your ever faithful 
Beethoven : it has appeared at Artaria's, who, together with many 
other publishers, solicited me to let them have it. I intend shortly 
to write to Stephen, for the purpose of lecturing him upon his 
obstinate mood. I will make his ears ring with our old friendship, 
and entreat him not to add vexation to your sufficiently saddened 
circumstances. I shall also write to the amiable Laura. Iha^e 
never forgotten one of you, dear, kind friends, even when I was 
uiost silent ; tor as to writing, why, that you know never was my 
forte : the dearest friends have not had letters from me for years. 
[lire entirely in my music ; and no sooner is one thing <uushed 


than I begin another: indeed, I now sometimes writ three 01 
four things at the same time. Pray let me hear from you oftener, 
and I will take care to find time for replying to your letters. Kind 
regards to all, including my dear Mme. v. Breuning : tell her I am 
still subject to the " raptus." As to K., I am not surprised at the 
change in her. Fortune's wheel is round, and does not always 
halt before the best and noblest. 

A word about Ries, to whom give my kind regards, and say 
that I shall further write to you respecting his son, although 1 
believe Paris would be a better place than "Vienna to make his for- 
tune in. Vienna is so overstocked, that even those who have great 
merit stand a bad chance of succeeding. By the autumn or winter, 
I shall be able to judge what I can do for him, as everybody then 
hastens back to town. Farewell, my faithful Wegeler. Be ever 
assured of the love and friendship of 




VnnwA, NOT. 16, 1801. 

My dearest Wegeler, I am truly obliged for the new marks of 
your interest in my welfare, the more so as I feel myself unworthy 
of them. You wish to know how I am, what I am taking ; and, 
much as I dislike conversing upon the subject at all, I would rather 
do so with you than with any one else. Vering, for the last few 
months, has applied blisters to both my arms, consisting of a cer- 
tain bark, known to you, as I suppose.* This is a most disagree- 
able remedy, as it deprives me of the free use of my arms for two 
or threo days at a time, until the bark has drawn sufficiently, 
which occasions a good deal of pain. It is true, the ringing in my 
ears is somewhat less than it was, especially in my left ear, in 
which the disease began, but my hearing is by no means improved : 
indeed, I am not sure but that the evil is increased. My health is 
improved, and the tepid bath always sets me up for eight or ten 
days. I take but little medicine, and have begun to use the herb- 
poultice as you prescribed. Vering opposes the shower-bath. I 
am, upon the whole, much dissatisfied with him : lie cares too little 
about his patients. Were I not to call upon him sometimes, which 
indeed is but seldom, I should never see him. What do you think 

* The bark of daphne mezereum. 


of Schmidt ? * I am not fond of changing ; but I think Vmng is 
too much of the practitioner to allow of his gathering fresh 
thoughts from books. Schmidt seems to diffe widely from him in 
this respect, and might not be so careless. They tell me wonders 
of galvanism : what is your opinion of it ? A medical man told 
me he had seen a deaf and dumb child recover its hearing (at 
Berlin), as well as a man who had been deaf for seven years. 
I hear that your friend Schmidt f makes experiments of this 

I have begun to mix in society again, and thus to enjoy my ex- 
istence rather more than I did. You cannot conceive how deserted 
and miserable a life I have led these two years ; my deafness pur- 
suing me like a spectre, and scaring me from mankind. I must 
have appeared a perfect misanthrope, whilst I am so far from it. 
A dear and charming girl has wrought this beneficial change in 
me. She loves me, as I do her ; and this has brought back some 
happy moments, the first I have enjoyed these two years. It is the 
fir;st time I feel that marriage could render me happy .J She is 
not, unfortunately, of my station in life, and at present I certainly 
could not marry, for I must be tossed about the world first. Were 
it not for my hearing, I should have travelled over half the globe : 
that is what I long lor. My greatest enjoyment is to pursue my 
art and produce in it. Do not think 1 should be happy with you 
all about me. In how far could that ameliorate my condition ? 

* John Adam Schmidt, councillor, &c. &c., oculist, and author of several 
classical works. 

f I lived in close and friendly intimacy with Schmidt and Hunezovsky 
up to their death. The former wrote under his portrait which hi' sent me , 
" Cogitare et essc sui, idem est Wegelero suo Schmidt." 

J My brother-in-law, Stephen Breuning, Ferdinand Ries, Bernard Romberg, 
and myself, have been taught by experience that Beethoven was ever a slave to 
the tenaer passion, and that in the highest degree. His and Stephen Breunlng's 
firs', love was Mile. Jeunette d'Honrath of Cologne, who often spent some 
veeks at the residence of the Breunings. She was as fair as lively, engaging aa 
amiable, had a beautiful voice, and delighted in music. She often used to sing lu 
derision, to our friend, the well-known song : 

" What ! part with thee this very day ? 

My heart a thousand times says nay. 

And yet I know I must not stay." 
The happy lival was Major Greth, of Cologne, who married the fair lady. This 

attachment of Beethoven's was followed by one for the amiable Mile. W ; 

and it is but three years since B. Romberg told me many anecdotes of this 
Werther-like love. Neither this nor any of the former inclinations left any 
lasting impression upon his own mind or that of the fair ones. Beethoven wag 
a great favorite at Vienna, and perhaps more so than many an Adonis might he; 
and I will leave connoisseurs and dilettanti to judge whether Adelaide, 
Fulelio, and many other things, could have been written if the author had 
not experienced those feelings which they so admirably depict. But let us tak 
the author's word for it. as given in this letter, that he was swayed by love 
To the best of my knowledge, his affections were generally placed in the highei 


Your very anxiety for me would be painfully visible in your looks, 
and would add to my misery. And that beautiful country of mine, 
what was my lot in it? the hope of a happy futurity. This 
might now be realized if I were freed from my affliction. Oh, 
freed from that, I should compass the world I I feel it, my youth 
is but beginning. Have I not hitherto been a sickly creature ? 
My physical powers have for some time been materially increasing, 
those of my mind likewise : I feel myself nearer and nearer the 
mark : I feel, but cannot describe it. This alone is the vital 
principle of your Beethoven. No rest for me : I know of none but 
sleep, and I grieve at having to sacrifice to it more time than I 
have hitherto deemed necessary. Take but one half of my disease 
f-om me, and I will return to you a matured and accomplished 
man, renewing the ties of our friendship ; for you shall see me as 
happy as I may be in this sublunary world, not as a sufferer, no, 
that would be more than I could bear. I will blunt the sword of 
fate : it shall not utterly destroy me. How beautiful it is to live a 
thousand lives in one ! No, I am not made for a retired life, I 
feel it. You will write as soon as possible, will you ? Take care 
Stephen make up his mind to take an appointment somewhere in 
the Teutonic Order. His health will not endure the fatiguing 
life which he leads here : he is, moreover, so deserted that I do not 
see how he is to stand it. You know how we get on here. Indeed, 
I will not assert that society would diminish his exhaustion of 
nerve, and he is not to be prevailed upon to go anywhere. I had 
some music at my rooms some time since. Friend Stephen did not 
appear. Do recommend him more coolness and self-possession. 
I have not succeeded in enforcing it : without them he cannot re- 
cover his health and happiness. Let me know in your next letter 
whether you don't mind my sending you a great quantity of mv 
music : you can sell that which you do not want, and thus pay 
your postage, having my likeness into the bargain. My kindest re- 
membrances to Laura, to mamma, also to Christopher. You love 
me a little, eh ? Be assured that I do love you, and remain ever 
yorr faithful friend, 




BADEN, July 24, 1804. 

. . . You will have been surprised at the affair with Breuning.* 
Believe me, my friend, that 1 had been wrought into this burst 

* This alludes to a violent quarrel which arose between the composer and hia 
friend, about tome lodgings which the latter had taken for him. 


of passion by many an unpleasant circumstance of an earlier date. 
I have the gift of concealing and restraining my irritability on 
many subjects ; but, if I happen to be touched at a time when I 
am more than usually susceptible of anger, I burst forth more 
violently than any one else. Breuning has doubtless most excel- 
lent qualities ; but he thinks himself utterly without faults, and yet 
is most open to those for which he blames others. He has a little- 
ness of mind which I have held in contempt since my infancy. My 
powers of judgment had almost propht sied to me the course which 
matters would take with Breuning ; for we differ too materially in 
our manner of thinking, acting, and feeling. I fancied late diffi- 
culties might have been overcome : experience has taught me 
otherwise, and now no more iriendship for me. I have met with 
two friends only in this world with whom I never had any alterca- 
tions ; but what men were they 1 the one is dead, the other still 
alive. Although we have not heard from each other these six 
years, yet I know that I hold the first place in his heart, as he does 
m mine. The basis of friendship should be the greatest limilarity 
in 1 the minds and feelings of men. I only wish you would read 
my letter to Breuning and his to me. No : he will never regain the 
place in my heart which he once held in it. Whoever can attribute 
so mean a proceeding to his friend, and can himself act so basely 
towards him, is not worthy of my friendship. Do not forget the 
matter of my lodgings. Farewell. Do not tailor* too much. 
Make my respects to the fairest of the fair, and send me a dozen 
needles. I should never have thought I could be as idle as I am 
here. Should a fit of industry succeed, I may accomplish some- 
thing grand. Vale. 



VIENNA, Mj S, 1810. 

My good old Friend, I can almost fancy these lines creating 
a surprise in your mind ; and yet, although left without epistolary 
witnesses, you live most vividly in my recollection : indeed, there 
is among my MSS. one long destined for you, and which you will 
certainly receive during this summer.f My retired life has ceased 
these last few years, and I have been forcibly drawn into the world. 
I have not yet decided for or against this change ; tut who has not 

* Ries then lived at a tailor's, who had beautiful daughters, 
t My lot in thin particular was that of his pupil Kies. The dedication WM 
made by letter only ; but are not such letters of greater value ? 


felt the storm which is raging ai-ound us ? I, however, should b* 
happy, perhaps the happiest of men, had not that demon taken 
possession of my ears. I have read somewhere that man should 
not wilfully part from this life whilst he could do but one good 
deed ; and, but for this, I should ere now have ceased to exist, and 
by my own hand too. Oh, life ia so charming ! but to me it is 

You will not refuse my request to procure me a copy of my 
baptismal register. The expenses, whatever they be, could be re- 
mitted to you by Stephen Breuning, with whom I know you have 
a running account ; and I will settle with him. Should you think 
it worth your while to investigate the matter, and should you like 
to go from Coblentz to Bonn for that purpose, I beg you will put 
your costs down to me. There is one thing to be considered in the 
matter, that I had a brother born before me, likewise named 
Ludwig, with the second name of Maria, but who died young. The 
birth of this brother should be ascertained previous to uiy age 
being fixed.* I know I have been put down as older than I am, 
by a mistake arising from this circumstance. Alas I I have lived 
some time without knowing my own age. I had a family-book ; 
but that has been lost, the Lord knows how I Do not be angry, 
therefore, if I recommend this to you most warmly, and try to find 
out the birth of Ludwig Maria, as well as that of the Ludwig 
who came after him. The sooner you send me the register, the 
greater my obligation. They tell me you sing a song of mine at 
your Freemasons' lodge ; probably one in E major, which I have 
not got myself; pray send it to me, and I promise to make you 
ample amends for it.f Think of me with kindly feelings, little as 
1 apparently deserve it. Embrace your dear wife, kiss your 
children, and all that are dear to you, in the name of your friend, 



VIENNA, Sept. 29, 1816. 

I take the opportunity which offers through J. Simrock,t to re- 
call myself to your memory. I hope you have received my engrav- 

* This alludes to what will appear by and by in Ries's sketches. 

t Beethoven was here mistaken. It was not a song of his composition which 
he no longer possessed, hut merely new words put to Mntthisson's Ode. I did 
tho same thing with an early song of Boothoven's. " Who is a free man ?" (Wcr 
ixt eiit I'n'iiT M<i mi 1) Beetboven wi*hi'<l t<> Imvc wonlx for the theme of thoxe> with which the grand .Sonata, Op. 20, dedicated to Prince l.ich 
nowsky, commences. My attempt did not, however, satisfy me: thus he never 
aw it. 

{ Joseph Bimrock, music-publisher, the head of the present honae. 


mg,* and the Bohemian glass. As soon as I shall again wander 
through Bohemia, you shall have something similar. Farewell . 
you are husband and father, so am I, but without a wife.f Love 
to all yours, to all mine. Your friend, 




VIENNA, Oct. 7, 1826. 

My old and dearest Friend, I cannot give you an adequate 
idea of the delight I felt in your and Laura's letter. It is true, my 
Rnswers should have followed with the swiftness of an arrow ; but 
I am careless in replying to my friends, because I believe those 
whom I really love know me without my writing to them. I often 
get an answer ready in my thoughts ; but, when I want to put it on 
paper, I mostly throw away my pen, because I cannot write as I 
feel. I do remember every kindness you have shown me : for in- 
stance, when you had my room whitewashed, and thus made me a 
most agreeable surprise.}: I feel the same gratitude towards the 
Breunings : our separation was the necessary result of the insta- 
bility of men's lives, each pursuing his own ends and trying to 
fulfil destiny, the principle of all that is unalterably good still 
finnly uniting us. I regret I cannot to-day write you at full length 
as I should wish, being in bed. I will answer but a few points of 
your letter. You say that I am mentioned somewhere as a natu- 
ral son of the deceased King of Prussia. I had heard this long 
ago ; but, from principle, I have never written on myself, or an- 
swered any thing that others have said of me : thus I leave you 
most willingly to vindicate my parents' honor, and especially that 
of my mother, in the eyes of the world. You speak of your son. 
I hope it is understood, that, when he comes here,' he will find a 
father and a friend in me, and that I shall serve him with the 
greatest pleasure wherever I can. I have yet your Laura's silhou- 
ette, a proof positive how I still value all that was dear and rear 
to me in my youth. On the subject of my diplomas, I will men- 
tion to you, but shortly, that 1 am an honorary member of the 
Royal Society of Arts in Sweden, the same in Amsterdam, and an 
honorary citizen in Vienna. Some time ago a Dr. Spieker took 

* " Despin6 par Letroune, et grav4 par Hot-fel, 1814. For my friend Wege- 
ler, Vienna. March 27,1815. Ludw. van Beethoven." Our mutual friend, Dl 
rector Elchnoff, brought it away for me after the congress. 

* Beethoven was educating the son of his brother Caspar, who had died tin 
preceding year. 

J Beethoven WM then living at Bonn, in the \Venxel Street. 


away with him to Berlin my last great symphony with choruses ; 
it is dedicated to the king, and he made me write the^ dedication 
in my own hand. I had previously asked and received permission 
at the embassy to dedicate the work to the king. On Dr. Spie- 
ker's suggestion, I had to send my MS., with my own corrections 
and improvements, to his Majesty, to be deposited in the royal 
library. Something has been whispered to me about the order of 
the Eied Eagle of the Second Class. I don't know how it will end, 
for I never sought a distinction like this : in our times, however, 
it would not be unwelcome to me for many reasons. 

My motto is always Nutta dies sine lined : and, if J give my muse 
any rest, it is but that she should arise with new vigor. 1 hope to 
achieve a few more great works, and then to close my earthly ca- 
reer like an old child amongst some good people. You will receive 
some music through the brothers Schott, of Mayence. The por- 
trait which I send herewith is a master-piece of art, but not the 
last likeness which has been taken of me. I have to name another 
mark of distinction conferred upon me, as I know it gives you 
pleasure. A medal has been sent me by the late King of France, 
with the inscription, " Donne par le roi a M. Beethoven," and ac- 
companied by a most obliging letter of the Due de Chartres, pre- 
mier gentilhomme du roi.* Thus much to-day. My dearest friend, 
I am overpowered by the recollections of the past, and this letter 
reaches you bedewed with my tears. Now that a beginning is 
m< n de, you shall soon hear from me again ; and the more you write, 
the greater will be my happiness. There can be no question as 
to our friendship on either side ; and so farewell. I beg you will 
embrace your dear Laura and your children in my name, and think 
of me. God be with you. With true esteem, ever your faithful 



VIENNA, Feb. 17, 1827.f 

My old and worthy Friend, I received most fortunately your 
second letter through Breuning. I am still too weak to answer it, 
but you may think that its contents are truly welcome to me.J My 

* The reader may judge hereby what to think of Beethoven's contompt of 
inch distinctions. 

f A monlL before his death. 

| I bad, if my memory serves me, reminded him of Blumauer, who lived 
many years after having been tapped. I proposed to him to fetch him from the 
lioht-mlaii baths, take him by a circuitous route to the Upper Rhine, and then 
down to Coblenu, where he wa finally to recover. 


convalescence, if such I may call it, goes on slowly. It is to be 
expected that a fourth operation must take place, although the 
medical men have not yet pronounced upon this. I take patience, 
and think : evil sometimes leads to good. But how surprised J 
felt to find from your last letter, that you had not received any 
thing. From the letter which you here receive, you will see that 
I wrote on the 10th of December of last year. It is the same with 
the portrait, as the date will show when it reaches you.* Stephen 
insisted upon sending you the things by private hand ; but they 
were left until now, and it was difficult to get them back even at 
this moment. You will now receive the portrait by post through 
Messrs. Schott, who also send you the music. I should like to say 
much to you to-day ; but I am too weak, so I can only embrace you 
and Laura. With true friendship and devotedness to you and 
yours, believe me, Your old and faithful friend, 


[This letter, too, was written in a strange hand, and signed by 

NO. vm. 

BEETHOVEN'S Correspondence with Mr. C. Neate, of London, and 
F. Ries (Beethoven's former pupil), concerning the publication of 
several of his Works. Their performance at the Philharmonic 
Concerts. Beethoven's intended Visit to England, f 


VIENNA, December, 1816. 

My dear Mr. Neate, I have received a letter from Mr. Hies, 
as amanuensis to Salomon (who has had the misfortune to break 
his right shoulder in a fall from his horse) ; and he tells me, on the 
29th of September, that the three overtures which you took of me 

* On the portrait stands, above his name, " To my long-tried and DC uch-be 
loved friend, P. G. Wegeler." There Is no date affixed. 

t I am Indebted to the kindness of Mr Neate for the following conespond- 
crice. which succeeded the acquaintance formed between the two at Vienna in 
the year 1815; and, as will be seen, includes, a letter from Mr. Neate in elucida- 
tion of a misunderstanding which had arisen between them. Beethoven's letter* 
to Hies I extract from Dr. Wegeler's Notices, &c. ED. 


for the Philharmonic Society* four months ago, had not then 
reached London. This being the second remembrancer which 
Mr. Salomon sends me on the subject, I thought I had better let 
you know. Should you not have sent them off, T should like to 
revise the Overture in C major, as it may be somewhat incorrect. 
With regard to any written agreement you may like to have about 
these things for England, that is very much at your service at a 
moment's notice. I would not have them suppose that I could 
ever act otherwise than as a man of honor. There are dispositions 
so fickle that they think one way to-day and another way to-mor- 
row, and fancy others as ready to change their mind ; and with 
such tempers one cannot be positive and mistrustful enough. So 
tare you well, my dear Mr. Neate. 

Yours truly, 



WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, VIENNA, 1816. 

Dear Ries, I hasten to inform you that I have to-day sent off 
the piano-forte score of the Symphony in A by post to the house 
of Thomas Coutts & Co. The court not being here, there are very 
few, if any, couriers ; and this is, moreover, the safest way. The 
symphony is to be brought out about March. I shall fix the day. 
It has been so long in doing, that I cannot name an earlier time. 
The trio in the sonata for violin may come out later, and both will 
be in London in a few weeks. I beg of you, dear Ries, to look 
after these things, and to take care I receive the money : the ex- 
penses are great ere these things reach you. I want cash : I have 
had a loss of six hundred florins in my yearly salary. At the time 
of the bank-notes (Banco-Zettel) it was nothing ; the reduced pa- 
per-money (Einlosungs- Scheme) succeeded ; and it is through these 
I lose the six hundred florins, after several years of vexation and 
entire loss of salary. We are now at a juncture when the Einlo- 
sungs-Scheine stand lower than ever did the, Banco-Zettel. I pay 
one thousand florins rent : figure to yourself the misery which this 
paper-money causes. My poor unhappy brother (Carl) has just 
died : he had a bad wife. I may say he was in a consumption for 
some years; and, to make life bearable to him, I gave him what I 
may reckon at ten thousand florins ( Wiener Wahrung). I own 
this is not much for an Englishman, but a vast deal for a poor 

* Mr. Neate was at the time one of the directors of the Philharmonic Bocl 


German or Austrian. The poor fellow was much changed of late 
years; and I may say I lament him with all my heart, whilst I am 
truly glad to be able to say to myself, I have not neglected any 
thing which could contribute to his preservation. Tell Mr. Birch- 
all to repay you and Mr. Salomon for the postage of your letters 
to me, and mine to you : he may deduct it from the sum which he 
nas to pay me. I am anxious that those who are active for me 
should suffer the least possible through it. 

" Wellington's Victory at the Battle of Vittoria " * must have 
arrived long ago at Coutts & Co.'s. Mr. Birchall need not pay me 
till he has got all the works. Do let me know as soon as possible 
the day which Mr. Birchall fixes for the publication of the piano- 
forte score. Thus much to-day, with the warmest recommendation 
of my concerns. I am at your service wherever you may require it. 
Farewell, dear Ries ! Your friend, 



VIENNA, Jan. 20, 1816. 

My dear Ries, The symphony will be dedicated to the Em- 
press of Russia. The piano-forte score of the Symphony in A 
must not come out till the month of June : the publisher here can- 
not be ready before that time. Will you, my dearest Ries, inform 
Mr. Birchall of this without delay ? The sonata, with violin ac- 
companiment, will be sent off by the next post, and may be like- 
wise published in London by the month of May, the trio some- 
what later (you will receive it by the next post too). I shall 
myself fix the time for its publication. 

And now, my dear Ries, take my sincere thanks for all your 
good offices, and in particular for the correction of the p xofs. 
May Heaven bless you I and may you progress more and more I 1 
shall ever take the most sincere interest in it. My best regards to 
/our wife. 

Ever your sincere friend, 


* This ! the title on the piano-forte score. (Beethoven's own note.) 



Manuscript Agreement, as drawn up by Beethoven far the Philhar- 
monic Society of London, concerning the above-named three MS 

VIENNA, Feb. 5, 1818. 

Mr. Neate has taken of me, in July, 1815, three overtures for 
the Philharmonic Society of London, and has paid me for them 
the sum of 75 guineas, for which sum I engage not to have these 
said overtures printed elsewhere, either in parts or score, always 
reserving for myself the right to have the said works performed 
wherever I please, and to publish them in piano-forte arrangement 
so soon as Mr. Neate shall write me word that they have been per- 
formed in London. Besides which, Mr. Neate assures me that he 
obligingly takes upon himself, after the lapse of one or two years, 
to obtain the consent of the Society to my publishing these three 
overtures in parts as well as in score, their consent to that effect 
being indispensable. Thus I respectfully salute the Philharmonic 



VMNNA, Feb. 28, 1818. 

... I have not been well for some time : my brother's death 
has had its influence upon my mind and my writings. I am truly 
grieved at Salomon's death. He had a noble mind, and I remem- 
ber him since my earliest youth. You have become his executor, 
and I, at the same time, the guardian of my poor brother's child. 
You will scarcely have had as much vexation as I had at this 
death ; yet I feel the sweet consolation of having rescued a poor 
little innocent from the hands of an unworthy mother. 

Farewell, dear Ries ! If I can be of the least use whatever to 
you, pray consider me wholly as your true friend, 



VIENNA, March 8, 1816. 

My answer couies somewhat late ; but I was ill, and had a good 
deal of work . . As yet, I have not seen a farthing of tin 


ten ducats ; and I begin to fancy that the English are generous only 
in foreign countries. The Prince Regent, too, has not even giver 
me the value of the copying expenses for my battle, which 1 seni 
him, nor has he vouchsafed a verbal or written acknowledgment. 
My income amounts to 3,400 florins in paper. I have to pay 1,100 
florins rent, and 900 florins to my servant and his wife : now, do 
you calculate yourself what remains. And, besides this, I have 
entirely to provide for my little nephew. He is at school at pres- 
ent, which costs about 1,100 florins, and leaves much to desire; so 
I must go into regular housekeeping to take him home. How 
much there is required to live here ! and yet there is no end to it 
because because . You know what I mean. I should be 
glad of some commissions from the Philharmonic Society, besides 
the concert. Above all, my dear pupil Ries should sit down, and 
dedicate something of sterling worth to me, upon which the mas- 
ter would return measure for measure. How can I send you my 
portrait ? . . . My best wishes for your wife. Alas I have 
none ; and one only have I met, but shall never possess her. This 
does not, however, make me an enemy to the sex. 

Your sincere friend, 



VIKNKA, April 8, 1816. 

. . . Neate must be in London by this time. He has taken 
charge of several of my works, and has promised me all his inter- 
est for them. The Archduke Rudolph, amongst others, plays 
your compositions with me, dear Ries, and your " Sogno" pleases me 
above all the rest. Farewell. I commend me to your well-beloved 
wife, and to all the fair Englishwomen who will receive my greet- 
ings. Your true friend, 



VIENNK, le 15 Maj. 1816. 
( Adtesse Sailerstadt, No. 1055 et 1056, au Seme t'tage.) 

Mon tres cher ami ! L'amitie de vous envers moi me pardon- 
ueril touts le fauts contre la langue francaises, mais la hate oo 

* The reader will perceive that I have given this letter, without attempting to 
correct Its orthography, conceiving it to be one of those cases where the ongl- 
oal imperfection rather adds to than diminishes the interest of the document.- 


j'ecris la lettre, ce peu d'exercice et dans ce moment m&me sani 
dictionnaire francais tout cela m'attire surement encore moins d> 
critique qu'en ordinairement. 

Avanthier on me portoit un extrait d'une gazette anglaise nom 
me'e Morning cronigle, ou je lisoit avec grand plaisir, que la Soci- 
etc" philarmonique k donnd ma Sinfonie in A^f ; c'est une grande 
satisfaction pour moi, mais je souhais bien d'avoir de vous menie 
des nouvelles, que vous ferez avec tous les compositions, que j 'a i 
vous donnes : vous m'avez promis ici, de donner un concert pour 
naoi, mais ne prenez mal, si je me men's un peu, quand je pense que 
le Prince regent d'angleterre ne me dignoit pas ni d'une reponse ni 
d'une autre reconnoissance pour la Bataile que j'ai envoye a son 
Altesse, et lequelle on a donne*e si souvent a Londre, et seulement 
les gazettes annoncoient le reussir de cet oeuvre et rien d'autre 
chose comrne j'ai deja ecrit une lettre anglaise k vous mon tre.s 
cher ami, je trouve bien de finir, je vous ai ici depeignee ma situa- 
tion fatal ici, pour attendre tout ce de votre amide, mais helas, pat 
tme lettre de vous Ries m'a ecrit, mais vous connoissez bien 
dans ces entretiens entre lui et moi, ce que je vous ne trouve pas 
necessaire d'expliquer. 

J'espere done cher ami bientdt une lettre de vous, ou j'espere de 
trouver de nouvelles de votre saute et aussi de ce que vous avez 
fait a Londres pour moi adieu done, quant k moi je suis et je 
serai toujour votre vrai ami, 



VIENNA, May 18, 1816. 

My dear Neate, By a letter of Mr. Ries, I am acquainted witL 
your happy arrival at London. I am very well pleased with it, 
but still better I should be pleased if I had learned it by yourself. 

Concerning our business, I know well enough, that for the per- 
formance of the greater works, as the Symphony, the Cantatc, the 
Chorus, and the Opera, you want the help of the Philharmonic 
Society; and I hope your endeavor to my advantage will be 

Mr. Ries gave me notice of your intention to give a concert to 
my benefit. For this triumph of my art at London, I would be 
indebted to you alone ; but an influence still wholesomer on my 

* Thia letter, not written, but signed, in Beethoven's own handwriting, U ben 
given in the original Kngliah text. KD. 


almost indigent life would be to have the profit proceeding from 
this enterprise. You know, that in some regard I am now father 
to the lovely lad you saw me with me. Hardly can I live alone three 
months upon my annual salary of 3,400 florins in paper; and now 
the additional burden of maintaining a poor orphan, you con- 
ceive how welcome lawful means to improve my circumstances 
must be to me. As for the Quatuor in F minor, you may sell it 
without delay to a publisher, and signify me the day of its publi- 
cation, as I should wish it to appear here and abroad on the very 
day. The same you be pleased to do with the two Sonatas, Op. 
102, for piano-forte and violoncello; * yet with the latter it needs 
no haste. 

I leave entirely to your judgment to fix the terms for both 
works ; to wit, the Quatuor and the Sonatas, the more the better. 

Be so kind to write to me immediately, for two reasons : 1st, 
that I may not be obliged to shrink up my shoulders when they 
ask me if I got letters from you ; and, 2dly, that I may know how 
you do, and if I am in tavor with you. Answer me in English if 
you have to give me happy news (for example, those of giving a 
concert to my benefit) ; in French, if they are bad ones. 

Perhaps you find some lover of music, to whom the Trio and the 
Sonata with violin, Mr. Kies had sold to Mr. Birchall, or the Sym- 
phony arranged for the piano-forte, might be dedicated, and from 
whom there might be expected a present. In expectation of your 
speedy answer, my dear friend and countryman, 
I am yours truly, 



VIENNA, June 11, 1816. 

My dear Ries, I am sorry again to put you to the expense of 
postage. Much as I like to serve and assist others, it always hurts 
me to draw upon them on my own account. The ten ducats are 
not forthcoming ; which leads to the conclusion that in England, 
as well as here, there are people who promise, but do not perform. 

J do not blame you in this matter. Not having heard any thing 
from Neate, I only beg you will ask him whether he has disposed of 
the Quartette in F minor. I am almost ashamed to speak of all 
the other works intrusted to him, ashamed to own to myself that f 
have given them to him with that unbounded confidence which 

* These were dedicated by the author to Mr Neate. KD. 


knows of no other conditions than those which his care and 
friendship would suggest for my benefit. 

I have had the translation of a notice in " The Morning Chroni- 
cle," on the performance of my Symphony (probably the one in A) 
given to me. It seems I shall fare with this work, and with all 
those which Neate has taken, as I did with my battle (of Vittoria). 
I shall read of their performance in the newspapers, and get noth- 
ing else by them. Yours, &c., 


Mr. Neate had been intrusted by Beethoven with several MS. 
works (the two Sonatas, Op. 102, for piano-forte and violoncello, 
and the piano-forte Trio in B flat, Op. 97), to dispose of them to 
English publishers, but found great obstacles in so doing from the 
difficulty of the music, and the unwillingness of some of the prin- 
cipal music-publishers to purchase works so little understood, 
by an author, too, who, at that time, was more noted for 
his eccentricities than for any of those noble attributes which in 
after days have procured for him the admiration of the age. The 
delays occasioned by these circumstances, as well as by others 
relating to Mr. Neate's private life, and finally the unsatisfactory 
results of his negotiations, led Beethoven to the suspicion that his 
interest had been neglected and his confidence betrayed. This 
induced Mr. Neate to write the following letter. 



LONDON, Oct. 29, 1818. 

My dear Beethoven, Nothing has ever given me more pain 
than your letter to Sir George Smart.* I confess that I deserve 
your censure, that I am greatly in fault ; but must say also that I 
think you have judged too hastily and too harshly of my conduct. 
The letter I sent you some time since was written at a moment 
when I was in such a state of mind and spirits, that I am sure, 
had you seen me, or known my sufferings, you would have excused 
every unsatisfactory passage in it. Thank God ! it is now all over, 
and I was just on the point of writing to you when Sir George 
Smart called with your letter. I do not know how to begin an 
answer to it. I have never been called upon to justify myself, 
because it lathe first time that I ever stood accused of dishonor; 

* Thto letter cannot be produced. ED. 


Mid what makes it the more painful is, " that I should stand accused 
by the man, who, of all in the world, I most admire and esteem, 
and one also whom I have never ceased to think of, and wish for 
his welfare, since I made his acquaintance." But, as the appear- 
ance of my conduct has been so unfavorable in your eyes, I must 
tell you again of the situation I was in previous to my marriage. 

... I remain in my profession, and with no abatement of my 
love of Beethoven ! During this period, I could not myself do 
any thing publicly ; consequently all your music remained in my 
drawer, unseen and unheard. I, however, did make a very consid- 
erable attempt with the Philharmonic, to acquire for you what I 
thought you fully entitled to. I offered all your music to them 
upon condition that they made you a very handsome present. This 
they said they could not afford, but proposed to see and hear your 
music, and then offer a price for it. I objected, and replied, 
" that I should be ashamed that your music should be put up by 
auction and bid for 1 that your name and reputation were too 
dear to me ; " and I quitted the meeting with a determination 
to give a concert, and take all the trouble myself, rather than 
(.hat your feelings should be wounded by the chance of their 
disapproval of your works. I was the more apprehensive 
of this, from the unfortunate circumstance of your overtures not 
being well received. They said they had no more to hope for from 
your other works. I was not a director last season ; but I am for 
the next, and then I shall have a voice, which I shall take care to 
exert. 1 have offered your sonatas to several publishers ; but they 
thought them too difficult, and said they would not be salable, 
and consequently made offers such as I could not accept ; but, when I 
shall have played them to a few professors, their reputation will 
naturally be increased by their merits, and I hope to have better 
offers. The symphony you read of in ' The Morning Chronicle,' I 
believe to be the one in C minor : it certainly was not the one in 
A, for it has not been played at a concert. I shall insist upon its 
being played next season, and most probably the first night. I am 
exceedingly glad that you have chosen Sir George Smart to make 
your complaints of me to, as he is a man of honor, and very much 
your friend. Had it been to any one else, your complaint might 
have been listened to, and I injured all the rest of my life. But I 
trust I am too respectable to be thought unfavorably of by those 
who know me. I am, however, quite willing to give up every 
sheet I have of yours, if you again desire it. Sir George will 
write by the next post, and will confirm this. I am sorry you 
say that I did not even acknowledge my obligation to you, because 
I talked of nothing else at Vienna, as every one there who known 


me can testify. I even offered my purse, which you generously 
always declined. Pray, my dear friend, believe me to remain, 

Ever yours, most sincerely, 


In reply to the above, Mr. Neate received the following letter 
from Mr. Haring, a private gentleman, and distinguished amateur 
on the violin, who used to keep up a friendly intercourse with 
Beethoven at Vienna : 


(At Beethoven's dictation.) 

V IENKA, 18th December, 1810. 
1005 Seiler-Staette, third story. 

My dear Sir, Both letters to Mr. Beethoven and to me ar- 
rived. I shall first answer his, as he has made out some memoran- 
dums, and would have written himself, if he was not prevented by 
a rheumatic, ieverisb cold. He says, " What can I answer to your 
warmfelt excuses ? Past ills must be forgotten, and I wish you 
heartily joy that you have safely reached the long-wished-for 
port of love. Not having heard of you, I could not delay any 
longer the publication of the Symphony in A which appeared here 
some few weeks ago. It certainly may last some weeks longer 
before a copy of this publication appears in London ; but unless it 
is soon performed at the Philharmonic, and something is done for 
me afterwards by way of benefit, I don't see in what manner I am 
to reap any good. The loss of your interest last season with the 
Philharmonic, when all my works in your hands were unpublished, 
has done me great harm ; but it could not be helped, and at this; 
moment I know not what to say. Your intentions are good, and it 
is to be hoped that my little fame may yet help. With respect to 
the two sonatas, Op. 102, for piano-forte and violoncello, I wish 
to see them sold very soon, as I have several offers for them in 
Germany, which depend entirely upon me to accept ; but I should 
not wish, by publishing them here, to lose all and every advantage 
with them in England. I am satisfied with the ten guineas offered 
for the dedication of the trio ; and I beg you to hand the title im- 
mediately to Mr. Birchall, who is anxiously waiting for it: you'll 
please to use my name with him. I should be flattered to write 
some new works tor tne Philnarmomc, I mean symphonies, an 


oratorio, or cantatas,* &c. Mr. Birchall wrote as if he wished to 
purchase my ' Fidelio.' Please to treat with him, unless you have 
some plan with it for my benefit concert, which, in general, I leave 
to you and Sir George Smart, who will have the goodness to deliv- 
er this to you. The score of the opera ' Fidelio ' is not published 
in Germany or anywhere else. Try what can be done with Mr. 
Birchall, or as you think best. I was very sorry to hear tha , the 
three overtures were not liked in London. I by no means reckon 
them amongst my best works (which, however, I can boldly say 
of the Symphony in A) ; but still they were not disliked here, and 
in Pesth, where people are not easily satisfied. Was there no fault 
in the execution ? Was there no party-spirit ? 

" And now I shall close, with the best wishes for your welfare, 
and that you enjoy all possible felicity in your new situation of 
life. " Your true friend, 




VIBMNA, July 9, 1817. 

Dear Friend, I feel much flattered by the honorable propo- 
rals you make me in your letter of the 9th of June. This comes to 
show you how I appreciate them; and, were it not for my unlucky 
affliction, and for the additional attendance this would make me 
require on a journey and in a strange country, I should at once ac- 
cept the proposal of the Philharmonic Society. Now place 
yourself in my situation, consider how many more difficulties I 
have to contend with than any other artist, and then judge 
whether my demands be unjust. I am going here to subjoin 
them, and beg you will communicate them to directors of the 
above-named society. 

1. I mean to be in London in the middle of January, 1818, at 
the latest 

2. The two grand new symphonies are then to be ready, and 
are to remain the Society's exclusive property. 

3. The Society to give me for them three hundred guineas, and 
allow me one hundred guineas for my travelling expenses, which 
will much exceed that sum, as I must necessarily take some 
one with me. 

4. As I shall immediately begin the two symphonies, if my pro 
posals be accepted, the Society to send me at once a check of one 

* In consequence of this offer, the Philharmonic Society ordered a symphony 
for one hundred guineas, and he accordingly sent them his Ninth Symphony. 



hundred aud fifty guineas, that I may provide a carriage and othet 
necessaries for my journey without delay. 

5. I accept the conditions relative to my non-appearance in any 
other public orchestra, to my non-conducting, to my giving the 
preference to the Philharmonic Society upon equal terms ; and in 
fact, with my sense of honor, all this would have been understood, 
though not mentioned. 

6. I may rely upon the assistance of the Society in one or more 
benefit concerts, as circumstances may permit. I feel sure of this, 
from the feelings of friendship of several of the directors of this 
estimable body, as, indeed, from the kind interest which most of the 
professional men have shown for my works. This will be an addi- 
tional spur to my endeavors to fulfil their expectations. 

7. I also beg to have the above written out in English, signed 
by three directors of the Society, and sent over to me. 

You may easily imagine how I enjoy the thoughts of becoming 
acquainted with the worthy Sir George Smart, and of seeing you 
and Neate again. Would I could fly across to you instead of this 
letter I Your sincere admirer and friend, 


(P.8. in his own hand.) 

Dear Ries, I embrace you with all my heart. I have express- 
ly made use of another hand for the above, that you might read 
and lay it before the Society with more ease. I have full confi- 
dence in your feelings towards mo, and hope the Philharmonic So- 
ciety will accept my proposals. You may rest assured that I shall 
exert all my powers to fulfil in the worthiest manner possible the 
honorable call of so distinguished a body of musicians. How 
strong is your band ? how many violins, &c., &c., with single or 
double wind-instruments ? Is the room large ? does the music tell 
in it? 



VIENNA, March 6, 1818. 

My dear Ries, Much as I wished it, I could not possibly 
manage to get to London this year. I beg you will inform the 
Philharmonic Society that it was my weak state of health which 
prevented me. I have some hopes of being effectually cured this 
spring ; and then I shall avail myself, about autumn, of the pro- 
posals made to me by the society, fulfilling all their conditions. 

Will you ask Neate, in my name, not to make a public use, at 
least, of such works of mine as he has got, until my arrival : which- 
ever way matters may stand with him, he has given me cause to 


Potter called on me several times. He seems to be a good crea- 
ture, and has much talent for composition. I hope and wish that 
your circumstances may improve from day to day : I cannot say 
that mine do. ... I cannot bear to see want, I must give ; so 
you may fancy how much more I suffer in this matter. Pray let 
me hear from you soon. If possible, I shall decamp sooner, to 
escape my utter ruin, and shall be in London towards the end of 
winter, at the latest. T know you will assist a distressed friend : 
had it been in my power, and had I not ever been fettered by cir- 
cumstances, surely I should have done much more for you. Fare 
you well 1 Remember me to Neate, Smart, Cramer, although ] 
understand that the latter moves in contrary motion to you and me. 
Never mind. I hope I somewhat understand the art of managing 
such matters, and producing a pleasing harmony at our meeting in 
London. I embrace you with all my heart. 


My kind regards to your dear, and, as I understand, beautiful 



VIENNA, April 80, 1819. 

My dear Ries, I could not ere this answer your last letter of 
the 18th of December. Your sympathy does me good. It ia 
impossible to get to London for the present, entangled as I am in 
various ways ; but God will assist my plans of reaching it cer- 
tainly next winter, when I shall bring the new symphonies. I am 
in expectation of the text for an oratorio which I am to write for 
our musical society, and which may likewise serve us in London. 
Do for me what you can, for I stand in need of it. I should gladly 
have accepted any orders for the Philharmonic Society. Neate's 
reports, however, of the all but failure of the three overtures have 
vexed me : they have not only been successful here, each in its 
own way, but those in E flat and C have even produced a power- 
ful effect ; so that the fate of these compositions in the Philharmonic 
Society is a riddle to me. You will have received the arrangement 
of the quintette and the sonata. Pray let them both be engraved 
immediately, especially the quintette. The sonata may follow 
a little more at leisure, but that, too, not later than two or three 
months hence. I had not received your former letter which you 
mention, and therefore did not scruple to strike a bargain for both 
these works in this place too ; that is to say, only for Germany. 
It will be three months before the sonata comes out here, but you 
must hurry with the quintette. As soon as you send me a check 



for the money, I shall let you have an agreement for the publisher 
securing him the property of these works for England, Scotland 
Ireland, France, &c. 

The tempi of the sonata, according to MaelzePs metronome 
will reach you by the next post. The quintette and sonata are 
gone by De Smidt, courier to Prince Paul Esterhazy. I shall 
send my portrait by the earliest opportunity, as I understand that 
you really wish for it. Farewell 1 Think kindly of your friend. 


My best love to your best love. 


VIENNA, April 16, 1818. 

Here, dear Ries, are the tempi of the Sonata (Op. 106). First 
allegro, allegro alone ; strike out the assai, and add 
Maelzel's Metronome 9 * =: 138. 
Second movement Scherzoso, M. M. ! = 80. 
Third movement, M. M. N = 92. 

Observe that another bar should be prefixed to this move- 
ment, viz. : 

New fiar.f Former beginning. 


* * have, In my edition of this sonata, marked the time of the first movement 
138 of Maelzel's metronome, because Beethoven himself had fixed that number. 
He, according to Wegeler's Notizen, gives it with a minim; I with :i crotchet: 
but neither of these can. to my mind, be made to suit the character of the move- 
ment. The minim increases it to so fearful a prestissimo as Beethoven could 
never have intended, since he desired the assai, originally prefixed to the nllr- 
riro,to be omitted. The crotchet slackens the movement all too mnch; and 
iilthougb I have, in my edition, allowed Beethoven's numbers to remain, in 
deference to the great man, yet I would advise the player to hold a middle 

course, according to the following mark : P ~ 116. ED. 

t Ries gives the following account of tliis new bar : All the " initiated '' must 
be interested in the striking fact which occurred respecting one of Beethoven'i 
but ol >-s :>n*t (in B major, with the great Fugue, Op. 106), a sonata which 


Fourth movement, Introduzione largo M. M. fc = 76. 
Fifth and last movement, ^ time. 


M. M. o, = 144. 


Excuse the mistakes ; if you knew my circumstances you would 
not be surprised at them, but would wonder at what I produce in 
spite of them. The quintette cannot be delayed any longer, and 
will shortly appear ; not so the sonata, about which I anxiously 
expect to hear from you, enclosing the terms. The name of the 
courier through whom you have to receive the quintette anc 
sonata is De Smidt. I beg to have a speedy answer, and shall 
soon write more at length. 

In haste, yours, BEETHOVEN 



VDUIMA, April 19, 1819. 

Dear Friend, Excuse the trouble which I am giving you. ] 
cannot account for the numerous mistakes which have found their 
way into the copy of the sonata, unless, indeed, they proceed 
from the circumstance of my not being able any longer to keep a 
copyist of my own. Events have brought this about ; and may the 
Lord help me until . . . become better off! This will take 
another twelve-month. It is most shocking how this matter hah 
been brought about, and what has become of my salary ; and no 

has forty-one pages of print. Beethoven had sent it to me to London for sale, 
that it might appear there at the same time as in Germany. The engraving wa 
completed, and I in daily expectation of the letter naming the day of publica- 
tion. This arrived at last, but with the extraordinary ' request," Prefix the 
following two notes, as a first bar, to the beginning of the adagio." This adagio 
lias from nine to ten pages in print. I own the thought struck me involuntarily, 
that all might not be right with my dear old master, a rumor to that effect having 
often been spread. What I add two notes to a composition already worked out 
and out, and completed six months ago ? But my astonishment was yet to bf 
heightened by the effect of these two notes. Never could such be found again, 
so striking, so important; no, not even if contemplated at the very beginning of 
the composition. I would advise every true lover of the art to play this adagio 
first without, and then with these two notes, which now form the first bar, and 
I have no doubt he will share in my opinion. 

* This minim should be a crotchet, an error which originates either In 
misprint in Dr. Wegeler's Notizen, or in Beethoven's own manuscript lettei 
<oiUe. E0. 


one can say what may become of it, until the above mentioned 
twelve-month comes round. Should the Sonata, Op. 106, not 
do for London, I might send another, or you may leave out the 
largo, and begin with the fugue of the last movement, or else the 
first movement, the adagio, and for the third the scherzo and the 
largo and allegro risoluto. I leave it to you to manage this as you 
think proper.* This sonata was written in time of need ; for it is 
hard to write almost for one's daily bread : thus far am I reduced. 
We must correspond further upon my visit to London. It would 
certainly be the only means of saving me from my miserable and 
needy condition, which ruins my health, and will never permit 
my faculties to act as they might under more favorable circum- 



VIENNA, May 26, 1819. 

... I was all the while oppressed with such cares as I had 
never known, and all through my excessive benevolence to others. 
Write on industriously. My dear little Archduke Rudolph and I, 
we often play your works ; and he says the former pupil does his 
master credit. Now fare you well. I content myself with em- 
bracing your wife who, I understand, is very handsome in 
fancy only for the present, but hope to have that pleasure in 
reality during next winter. Do not forget the quintette and 
the sonata, and the money, I meant to say the honoraire avec 
ou sans honneur. 1 trust to hear from you not only as fast as 
allegro, but veloce prestissimo, and good tidings too. This letter 
reaches you through a right clever Englishman : they are a power- 
ful race for the most part, and I should like to spend some time 
amongst them in their own country. 

Prestissimo Responsio, il suo amico e maestro. 



VIENNA, Nov. 10, 1819. 

Dear Ries, I write to let you know that the sonata is out ; 
that is to say, only about a fortnight. And it is about six months 

* How numerous his proposal*, t How much scope he leaves me I WM it It 
presentiment ">f the difficulties which would attend its sale ? l 


since both were sent to you, the quintette and the sonata. 1 
shall despatch, in a few days, through a courier who leaves this, 
the quintette as well as the sonata, so that you will be able to 
correct both works. Not having heard from you of the receipt of 
either, I thought the matter had fallen to die gronnd. Have I not 
been wrecked once before in this year through Neate ? I wit>h 
you could try to get me the fifty ducats. I have reckoned upon 
receiving them, and, indeed, have many ways for my money. 
Enough for to-day, only let me tell you that I have almost con- 
cluded a new mass. Let me know what you could do with it in 
London : but that soon, very soon ; and soon, too, let me have the 
money for both the works. I will write more fully another day 
In haste, your true and sincere friend, 




VIENNA, April 6, 1822. 

My dearest Ries, IJiave been ill again for the last six months 
and more, and thus could never answer your letter. I have re- 
ceived the twenty-six pounds, and am sincerely obliged to you for 
them ; but your symphony dedicated to me has not arrived. My 
greatest work is a grand mass which I have lately written, &c. &c. 
Time presses to-day, so I say only the needful : what might the 
Philharmonic Society offer me for a symphony ? 

I will think of coming to London, if my health would but permit 
it, perhaps next spring. You would find in me a master who 
truly appreciates the pupil, in his turn become a great master ; and 
who knows how, and in what way, the art might be benefited 
from our acting jointly ? I am, as ever, completely devoted to my 
muses ; and this alone can insure me happiness. I act for others, 
too, as best I may. You have two children : I have one, my 
brother's son ; but you are married, consequently your two can- 
not be as expensive as my one. 

Now, farewell. Kiss your fait 1 lady until I may perform thil 
solemn act in person. 

Your sincere friend, 


P.S. Be quick in letting me have your dedication, that I may 
show off in return, which 1 mean to do as soon as I have received 



VIENNA, Dec. 20, Ic22. 

My tear Ries, I have had so much business on hand, that 1 
could not send you a reply to your letter of the 15th of November. 
I gladly accept the request of the Philharmonic Society to write a 
new symphony for them ; although the terms offered are not what 
they ought to be, and what the English might afford, in comparison 
to other nations. 

If I could but get to London, what would I not write for the 
Philharmonic Society ! for, Heaven be praised, Beethoven can 
write, although he can do nothing else. If it please God to restore 
my health, which is somewhat improved, I may yet avail myself 
of the several proposals made to me from the different parts of 
Europe, and even from North America, and thus I might once 
more be put in a flourishing state. 

Yours &c., 


* 22. 

[Extract of a letter, the beginning of which is nowhere to be found.] 

. . Do get matters speedily arranged for your poor friend. 
I expect your travelling plan too.* I can bear up no longer : I am 
in for it deeper than ever. Should I not go, look you, there is a 
crimen lessee. Since you seem to wish for a dedication of mine, 1 
am quite ready to gratify you, much more ready than I should 
be for any great man ; for the greatest, enlre nou*. 

The D 1 knows where one might fall into their hands. You 
will receive the new symphony (the Ninth, with choral parts) with 
the dedication to yourself. I hope at length to get possession 07 
yours to me. " B " is to open the letter to the king (George thi. 
Fourth) he took charge of, and he will see what has been written 
to the king about the " Battle of Vittoria." The enclosed letter to 
him f contains the same ; but there is no longer a question about 

* The plan for Beethoven's journey. 

t The letter, scaled in two places, us ulso the direction on the ?over. wer 
written In Beethoven's own hand. These were enclosed in a letter to me, and 
cover put over the whole. Probably the address seemed so illegible to him 
elf that be put a third cover over it, without removing the second one. 


the mass. Let our amiable friend B. try and get me at least a 
battle-axe or a turtle. The printed copy of the score of the battle 
is, of course, also to be given to the king. This letter puts you to 
great expense ; * pray deduct it from what yon have to send me. 
How much I regret being so troublesome to you ! The Lord be 
with you 1 Best love to your wife until I come myself. Have a 
rare. You think I am old ; I am an old youngster. 

Ever yours, 



VIENNA, Feb. 25, 1828. 

My dear Friend, Ries tells me you wish to have three quar- 
tettes of me ; and I now write to beg you will let me know about 
what time they are to be ready, as I am fully satisfied with your 
offer of a hundred guineas for them. Only let me beg of you to 
send me a check for that sum, upon one of our banking-houses, 
so soon as I shall let you know that the quartettes are finished ; 
and I will, in my turn, deliver them to the same banker upon the 
receipt of the hundred guineas. I trust you are enjoying to the 
full the blessings of a family life. Would I could have the pleasure 
of becoming an eye-witness to your happiness ! I have sent Ries a 
new overture for the Philharmonic Society, and am only waiting 
the arrival of a check for the new symphony, to forward him that 
too, through our Austrian embassy. You will find in the bearer, 
Mr. A. Bauer, a man equally intelligent and amiable, who can 
give yo i a full account of my doings. Should my health improve,! 
I mean to visit England in 1824. Let me krow what you think- 
about it,. I should be delighted to write foi the Philharmonic- 
Society, to see the country and all its distinguished artists ; and 
as to my pecuniary circumstances, they, too, might be materially 
benefited by this visit, as I feel that I shall never make any thing 
in Germany. My name on the address of letters is sufficient . 
security for their reaching me. With every kind wish for your 
welfare, believe me, 

Your sincere friend, 


Seventeen shillings, ten and a fifth florins. RIES. 
t It hM materially suffered during the last three year*. 




VIENNA, April 25, 1628. 

Dear Ries, The cardinal (Archduke Rudolph) has been stay- 
ing here for a whole month ; and, as I had to give him two hours 
and a half's lesson per day, I was robbed of much time, besides 
feeling, the day after such lessons, scarcely able to think, much 
less to write. 

My distressed circumstances, however, require that I should 
instantly write that which will procure money, sufficient for the 
moment. What a sad discovery this must be to you ! And, more- 
O7er, all my troubles have caused me to be unwell, have given 
me sore eyes. But do not be alarmed : you will shortly receive 
the symphony. Indeed, it is all brought on by these miserable 
circumstances. You will also receive, a few weeks hence, thirty- 
three new variations, on a subject (a valse, Op. 120) dedicated to 
your wife. Bauer (first secretary to the Austrian embassy) has 
the score of the " Battle of Vittoria," which was dedicated to the 
then prince-regent, and for which I have still to receive the copy- 
ing expenses. Now I beg of you, dear friend, to send me, as soon 
as possible, a draft for the amount of whatever you may be able to 
get me for it. You and I know the publishers well. 

With regard to your tender conjugal point, you will always find 
me in direct opposition to yourself, and decidedly taking the lady's 
part. Ever your friend, BEETHOVEN. 



HETZENDOKF, near VIENNA, July 16, 1828. 

My dear Ries, The receipt of your letter, the day before 
yesterday, gave me great pleasure. I suppose you have got the 
variations by this time. I could not write the dedication to your 
wife, as I do not know her name. Pray make it in the name of 
j our own and your wife's friend, and let her be surprised with it 
on its coming out. The fair sex is fond of that sort of thing. 
Between ourselves, the great charm of the beautiful lies in its 
coining upon us unawares. 

With regard to the allegri di bravura, 1 shall pardon yours. 
To say the truth, I am no i'riend to that species of writing, calcu- 
lated to promote mechanism all too much, in those at least which 


I know. I have not looked at yours yet, but shall inquire foi them 

at , with whom I beg you will not communicate without great 

prudence. Might I not be your agent here for many things V 

These publishers are certainly acting up to their name by pub- 
lishing your works ; but you get nothing by such publicity, which 
is only a reprint. Matters might, perhaps, be differently managed. 
I shall certainl) send you a few choruses, and, if required, pro- 
duce a few new ones. They are quite my hobby. 

Many thanks for the produce of the bagatelle*. I am quite 
content with it. Do not give any thing to the King of England. 
Take whatever you can get for the variations : I shall be satisfied 
anyhow. But one thing I must stipulate, that I shall positively take 
no other reward for the dedication to your wife than a kiss, to be 
received by me in London. You sometimes vrite guineas, whereas 
I receive but pounds sterling; and I understand there is a differ- 
ence.* Do not be angry at this, with a pauvre musicien autrichiei* 
but indeed my situation is a difficult one. I am likewise writing 
a new violin quartette. Might that, too, be offered to the musical 
or unmusical London Jews i en vrai juif. With the sincerest 
embrace, Your old friend, BEETHOVEN. 


VIESNA, Sept. 6, 1823. 

My dear good Ries, I still continue without news of the sym- 
phony, yet you may depend upon it ... will soon reach London. 
Were I not so poor as to be obliged to live by my pen, 1 should 
not take any thing of the Philharmonic Society. As it is, I must 
certainly wait until my terms for the symphony be made payable 
here. Wishing, however, to prove my confidence and affection for 
this society, I have already sent off" the new overture. I leave it 
to the society to settle for it at its own rate. My worthy brother 
(Johann), who keeps his carriage, thought fit to draw upon me 
too, and has consequently offered this same overture, unkaown to 
me, to a London publisher, Boosey. Pray tell him my brother 
was mistaken with regard to the overture. He bought it of me to 
carry on usury with it, as I perceive. O frater ! As yet, I have 
not seen any thing of your symphony dedicated to me. Did I not 
consider this dedication as a kind of challenge, demanding satis- 
faction on my side, I should by this time have inscribed some work 

* Beethoven received twenty-five guineas in a check of twenty-six pound! 
nd five shillings, while the calculations were made in pounds. itia. 


to you. As it is, I thought I ought by rights to see your work first , 
and how I wish I could in any way show you my gratitude ! I am 
deep in your debt for so many proofs of attachment and active 

Should my health improve by a proposed course of bathing, I 
shall embrace your wife in 1824 in London. 

Ever yours, BEETHOVEN. 

[The following three letters are given as originally written in 
French, not in Beethoven's own hand, but signed by hun- 


VIKNNB, le 15 Janvier, 1826. 

Ce fat avec le plus grand plaisir que je recus votre lettre du . . . 
par laquelle vous avez eu la bonte de m'avertir que la Societe* 
Philharmonique distinguee d'artistes m'invite a venir & Londres. 
Je suis bien content des conditions que me fait la societe", seule- 
ment je desire de lui proposer de m'envoyer, outre les trois cent 
guinees qu'elle me promet, encore cent guinees pour faire les 
depenses du voyage; car il faudra acheter une voiture; aussi 
dois-je e"tre aceompagne de quelqu'un. Vous voyez bien que cela 
est necessaire ; d'ailleurs je vous prie de m'indiquer Pauberge oil 
je vous prie de m'indiquer Pauberge oil je pourrai descendre fe 

Je prendrai un nouveau quatuor avec moi. Quant au bruit 
dont vous m'ecrivez, qu'il cxiste un exemplaire de la neuvieme 
symphonic & Paris, il n'est point fonde. H est vrai que cette 
symphonic sera publiee en Allemagne, mais point avant que Pan 
soit e'coule', pendant lequel la societd en jouira. 

Sur ce point il faut encore vous avertir de ne faire que de petites 
preuves de cette composition, en quatuor par exemple, car c'est la 
seule maniere d'e*tudier bien une belle oeuvre ; les choeurs,. avant 
tout, doivent etre exerces. 11 y a encore quelques erreurs, dout je 
vous enverrai le catalogue par la poste prochaine. 

D me semble avoir e'te' oublie dans la seconde partie de la 
symphonic, qu'k la repetition du minor apres le Presto il faut 
commencer de nouveau du signe :g: et continuer sans repetition 
jusqu'fc la Ferma, alors on prend aussitot la Coda. 

Je vous prie de me repondre au plus vite possible, car on 
demande de moi une grande composition nouvelle, que je ne coui- 
mencerai cependaot pas, sans avoir votre reponse. B faut qut 


j'eerive toujours, pas pour me faire des ri jhesse, seulement poui 
pourvoir k mes besoins. 

Or je dois avoir de la certitude sur ce point. Je serai bien 
charme" de vous voir, et de connoitre la noble nation Anglaise. 
Je suis, avec la plus haute consideration, 

Monsieur, Votre sincere ami, 



VIENNK, le 19 Mars, 1826. 

Man tres cher Ami, Je ne pourrai guere venir a Londre* duraj.t 
le printemps, mois qui sait quel accident m'y conduit peut-4tre en 
automne. J'espere que vous vous trouvez bien dans votre famille, 
et en bonne sante. Quant aux quatuors, dont vous m'ecrivez dans 
vos lettres, j'en ai acheve" le premier, et je suis k present k com- 
poser le second, qui, comrne le troisieme, sera acheve dans peu de 
temps. Vous m'offrez cent guineas pour trois quatuors, je trouve 
cette proposition bien genereuse. II se demande seulement, s'il 
m'est permis ile publier ces quatuors apres un an et demie, ou 
deux ans.* C'est ce qui serait tres avantageux pour mes finances. 
En ce qui concerne la maniere de simplifier 1'envoiement des 
quatuors, et de 1'argent de votre part, je vous propose de remettre 
les oeuvres k Messrs. Fries & Co., qui temoigneront a vous meme, 
ou a quelque banquier de Londres, d'etre possesseurs des qua- 
tuors, et qui vous les remettront aussitot apres 1'arrivee de 1'argent. 

Voici une affaire, par laquelle vous pouvez me prouver votre 
auntie. Je vous prie seulement de me repondre au plus-tot possi- 
ble. Je me fie toujours a votre amitie pour moi, et vous assure 
que vous pouvez faire de ineuie a moi. 

Je suis, avec la plus grande consideration, 

Votre ami, , BEETHOVEN. 


VIENXE, le 25 May, 1825. 

Mon ami, Je crois necessr<ire de vous e"erh - e encore une fois. 
Je vois daus la lettre que vous m'avez ecrite il y a deux ans, que 

* Mr. Neate did not succeed In disposing of these three quartette* (<BUTTI 
jwrthumes) to a publisher. ED. 


1'honoraire des quatuors est cent livres sterling. Je sui content 
de cette offre, mais il est ne"cessaire de vous avertir, quo le premiere 
quatuor est si chercl.6 par les plus celebres artistes de Vienne, 
que je 1'ai accorde" k quelques uns d'eux pour leur benefice. Je 
crois tromper votre amide en ne vous avertissant point de cette 
circonstance, parceque vous pouvez aussi en faire usage a Londres. 
Or si vous me repondez que vous gtes content des propositions que 
je vous ai faites dans ma lettre derniere, je vous enverrai aussitdt 
le premiere quatuor; cependant je vous prie d'accelerer votre 
resolution, puisque les editeurs desirent vivement de le posseder. 
Cependant vous n'avez point de remettre 1'honoraire qu'apres avoir 
recu 1'assurance de ma part, que les deux autres quatuors sont 
echeves. Seulement je vous prie d'ajouter a votre lettre 1'assu- 
rance de votre contentement en ce qui concernc mes offres. Voili 
ce que j'ai cru devoir vous dire. Je crois vous avoir fait une com- 
plaisance, et je suis certain que vous ferez le meme envers moi. 
Conservez votre amide" pour moi. 

Je suis, avec le plus grand esdme, 

Votre ami sincere, Louis VAN BEETHOVEN. 


VIENNA, April 9, 1826. 

Dear worthy Ries, The needful in all haste ! In the score of 
the symphony which I sent you (it is the ninth with choruses), 
there stands, as far as I remember, in the first oboe in the two 
hundred and forty-second bar, 


It should be thus : /W ^P|- - instead of -/W ^ 
\y ^j . = Hj; ^ 

I have looked over the whole of the parts, with the exception 
of the brass band, j that only in part, and I trust they must be 
tolerably correct. I would willingly have sent; you the score,* but 
I have a concert before me, and the only score I possess is my 
manuscript. The concert, however, depends upon my health ; for 
I must soon set off to the country, where alone I can prosper at 
this time. 

* It was suggested that this symphony should be performed at the musical 
festival at Aix-ia-Chapelle. Beethoven, however, did not send it. The com- 
mittee had written to him directly, but had received promises only. At last I 
wrote, and begged, th:it, knowing him and his scores as well as 1 diJ, he would 
Bend me the original score, which 1 should be able to make out. I promised 
him at-the same time ''woll aware of his constant want of money) another prea 
nit, which I received for him some time after, to the amount of forty louid-d'or*. 


You will soon receive the " Opferlicd," copied a second time : 
and I beg you will mark it as corrected by myself, that it might not 
be used together with the one you have already by you. This 
song gives you an idea of the miserable copyist I have had ever 
since Schlemmer's death. There is scarcely a note in which I 
can trust him. As you have already had all the written parts of 
the finale of the symphony, I have now sent you the second choral 
parts. You can easily have these scored from before the begin- 
ning of the chorus ; and, at the commencement of the vocal, it 
will be quite easy to have the instrumental parts prefixed to the 
second vocal ones : it will require a little reflection. It was im- 
possible to write all this at once ; and, had we hurried such a 
copyist, there would have been errors upon errors. I have sent 
you an overture in C, f time, not yet published. The printed parts, 
too, you will receive by the next post. The " Kyrie " and " Gloria " 
(two of the principal pieces of the " Messe Solemnelle"), in D 
major, are likewise on their way to you, together with an Italian 
vocal duet. You will receive, besides these, a grand march with 
choruses, well fitted for grand musical performances.* Another 
grand, and as yet unknown, overture might come forth ; but I fancy 
you have enough of these. 

Farewell, in the land of the Rhine, ever dear to me.f Every 
".njoyment of life attend you and your wife. The most friendly 
remembrances to your father. 

From your friend, 


No. IX. 

Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Ktirnthnerthor 

Theatre, Vienna.^ 

Jn the 7th of May, 1824, a grand musical performance took 
place at the Karnthnerthor Theatre. The leaders of the music 
were Kapell-meister Umlauf and M. Shuppanzigh ; and the great 
composer himself assisted on the occasion. He took his place at 

* Probably belonging to a dramatic piece, The Ruins of Athens, written fof 
a performance at Pesth. 

t When 1 left England, I went to live at Godesberg, near Bonn, one of the most 
beautiful parts on the Rhine. I had invited Beethoven to come and see me there; 
and had pressed him to live at once with me, and in his native home, for BOOK 
little time. RIES. 

t From The Harmonioon, October, 1824. 


the side of the principal leader, and, with his original score before 
him, indicated the different movements, and determined the precis*! 
manner in which they were to be given ; for, unfortunately, th<i 
state of his hearing prevented him from doing more. The theatre 
was crowded to excess ; and the sensation caused by the appear- 
ance of this great man was of a kind that is more easy to imagine 
than to describe. The arrangement of the pieces performed was 
as follows : 1st, Beethoven's Grand Overture in C major ; 2d, 
Three Grand Hymns, with solo and chorus parts, from his New 
Mass, never before performed ; 3d, a Grand New Symphony, with 
a finale, in which are introduced a solo and chorus part from 
Schiller's " Lied an die Freude " (" Song of Joy "). This also was 
performed for the first time, and is Beethoven's last composition. 
We shall offer a few observations on each of these in the order of 
their performance. 

With respect to the overture, it indisputably belongs to the 
most finished of his compositions. The introductory andante, 
is throughout of the most simple, noble, and masterly kind ; and 
the rather lengthened allegro that follows is full of brilliant 
fancy. It is in the free fugue style, in three parts, each of which is 
sustained with equal power and effect. It is never monotonous : 
its form is constantly varying without in any manner sacrificing 
unity of effect. Without the smallest rest-point, the interest is con- 
stantly kept up. It flows along in a stream of harmony always 
pure and limpid ; but it certainly presents an arduous task to the 
performer. It is thus that Handel would have written, had he had 
at his disposal the rich orchestra of our times ; and it is only a 
spirit congenial with that of the immortal author of " The Messiah " 
that could succeed in treading in the footsteps of this giant of the 
art. The three hymns are principal portions of the new mass 
which Beethoven has lately composed. The first, which was the 
" Kyrie Eleison," is in D major, a movement full of fire and deep 
religious feeling. The " Christe " that followed is in triple time, 
and full of happy effects of counterpoint ; the return to the first 
measure of the " Kyrie " is managed in a masterly manner ; and 
the whole terminates in harmonics of a very singular and touching 
character. But, altogether, the effect is not so much that of chil- 
dren supplicating a parent, which is the true intent of the words 
in the place in which they stand, as the deep and mournful suppli- 
cations of a people humbled in the dust. 

The treatment of the credo that follows is in the highest 
degree original and uncommon. Both the principal key, B flat 
major, as well as the time, change perhaps too often ; so that the 
ear is scarcely able to comprehend the suddenness of the effects 
intended to be produced. At the consubstantialem patri, a short 
but very powerful figure commences ; the incarnatus est is a move* 


me it of very pathetic effect ; and the tender and touching passage, 
passug et sepultus est, with its well-placed dissonances in the violin 
accompaniment, is not to be described. Well imagined and sus- 
tained, the strongly-figured movement at the entrance of the 
contra-thetne is somewhat quickened, but the first moderate again 
returns. The " Amen " opens with a broad and richly ornamented 
passage : it swells into splendid effect, and terminates in a long 
dying fall. If it were permitted in a church composition to speak 
of effect in the same manner as in a secular production, it Cannot 
be denied that this retarding kind of conclusion tends to weaken 
the powerful impression produced by the preceding bolder results ; 
especially when no reasonable cause can be assigned for such a 
mode of conclusion, unless it be the determination of a composer 
to differ from all the rest of the world. Who does not feel himself 
inspired by those brilliant fugues with which a Naumann, a Haydn, 
and a Mozart terminate their compositions of this kind, which 
seem as if on the wings of seraphs to waft the soul towards heaven ? 
The character of the " Agnus Dei," in B minor, is solemn and 
tender ; and the introduction of four French horns tends to heighten 
the effect in an extraordinary degree. The " Dona " in D major, 
f time, passes into an allegretto movement of feeling, and ad- 
vances in beautiful imitations, till suddenly the passage changes, 
and the kettle-drums, like distant thunder, intone the deep jpacem.* 
A soprano solo introduces the second " Agnus Dei " in a kind of 
recitative ; and a chorus, strengthened by trumpets, precedes the 
tremendous " Miserere Nobis." The effect of the latter is singular 
in the extreme ; and, when we reflect upon the sentiments intended 
to be expressed, we scarcely know whether to praise or blame. 

With respect to the new symphony it may, without fear, stand 
a competition with its eight sister works, by none of which is the 
fame of its beauty likely to be eclipsed : it is evidently of the same 
family, though its characteristic features are different 

" Facies non omnibus uua 
Nbn diversa tamen, qualem debet esse sororum. " OVID. 

The opening passage is a bold allegro in D minor, full of 
rich invention, and of athletic power ; from the first chord till the 
gradual unfolding of the colossal theme, expectation is constantly 
kept alive and never disappointed. To give a skeleton of this 
composition would be scarcely practicable, and, after all, would 
convey but a very faint idea of the body. We shall therefore only 
touch upon some of the more prominent features, among which id 
a scherzo movement (D minor), full of playful gayety, and in 

* Most of our readers will concur with us in thinking this a most eeoenVrti 
mode of coloring musically so gentle a word. 



which all the instruments seem to contend with each other in the 
whim and sportiveness of the passage ; and a brilliant march, in 
the vivid major mode, forms a delightful contrast with the passages 
by which it is introduced. Whoever has imagined, in hearing the 
andante of the Seventh Symphony, that nothing could ever equal, 
not to say surpass it, has but to hear the movement of the same 
kind in the present composition in order to change his sentiments. 
Tn truth, the movement is altogether divine, the interchanges and 
combinations of the motives are surprising, the tasteful conduct 
of the whole is easy and natural, and, in the midst of the rich 
exuberance of the subject, the simplicity that prevails throughout 
is truly admirable. But it is in the finale that the genius of this 
great master shines forth most conspicuously. We are here, in 
an ingenious manner, presented with a return of all the subjects 
in short and brilliant passages, and which, as in a mirror, reflect 
the features of the whole. After this, a singular kind of recitative 
by the contra-basses introduces a crescendo passage of overwhelm- 
ing effect, which is answered by a chorus of voices that bursts un- 
expectedly in, and produces an entirely new and extraordinary 
result. The passages from Schiller's " Song of Joy " are made 
admirably expressive of the sentiments which the poet intended 
to convey, and are in perfect keeping with the tone and character 
of the whole of this wonderful composition. Critics have remarked 
of the finale, that it requires to be heard frequently in order to 
be duly appreciated. 

At the conclusion of the concert, Beethoven was unanimously 
called forward. He modestly saluted the audience, and retired 
amidst the loudest expressions of enthusiasm. Yet the feeling of 
joy was tempered by a universal regret, to see so gifted an indi- 
vidual laboring under an infliction the most cruel that could befall 
an artist in that profession for which Nature had destined him. 
We have no doubt but the master will consider this as one of the 
proudest days in his existence ; and it is to be hoped that the tes- 
timony of general feeling which he has witnessed will tend to 
soothe his spirit, to soften down some of its asperities, and to con- 
vince him that he stands upon a pinnacle far above the reach of 
envy and every malignant passion. 

Both singers and instrumental performers acquitted themselves 
on this interesting^ occasion in a manner that is deserving of the 
highest praise. Of the worthy Kapell-meister Umlauf, who under- 
took the conduct of this great work, and M. Shuppanzigh, a master 
of known abilities, who led the band, it is but justice to say, that 
their zeal, knowledge, and talents deservedly obtained them the 
most conspicuous place and the merited thanks of their brothei 
artists. The impracticability of devoting sufficient time for tin- 
number of rehearsals that were necessary, in order to do justice 


jo music which is at once new and of so lofty a character, made 
it impossible to give it with that precision, and those delicate 
shades of forte and piano, which are required to do them justice. 

The deep and general feeling which this concert, in honor of 
l,he great master of the modern art in Germany, excited, together 
with the disappointment experienced by many who were unable 
to obtain admission, induced the director of the theatre to make 
an offer to the composer of a certain consideration if lie would 
condescend once more to appear in public, and assist at a repeti- 
tion of the same music. With this request he complied ; and, in 
addition to the pieces before performed, he offered them a manu- 
script terzetto, with Italian words, which was accordingly per- 
formed, and considered by the numerous Italian amateurs in Vienna 
as a kind of compliment paid by the composer to themselves. The 
performance went off with still greater eclat than on the former 
occasion ; and this new composition was hailed by all with no less 
enthusiasm than the other works. 

No. X. 

Characteristics of Beethoven, from Wegeler and Ries's " Notizen" 

When Beethoven's reputation had attained the highest point at 
Vienna, his dislike to playing in society was so ungovernable, that 
be used completely to lose his temper in consequence ; and would 
often come to see me in the most melancholy mood, complaining 
that play he must, although he felt the blood tingling in his fin- 
gers. By degrees, I used to draw him into a conversation of a more 
cheerful tendency, and always succeeded in ultimately pacifying 
him. This object attained, I used to drop all discourse, sit down 
to my writing-desk, and thus oblige Beethoven to take the chair . 
next to me, for the purpose of further conversation ; that chair 
being the one used at the piano. The vicinity of the instrument 
soon led him to strike some chords at random, whence sprung the 
most beautiful melodies. Oh ! why did I not more fully understand 
him ? Wishing to possess a manuscript of his, I more than once 
put before him on the desk some music-paper, seemingly without 
intention. It was always filled ; but, when he had done this, he 
folded it, and put it into his pocket, leaving me to laugh at my own 
miscalculation. He never permitted me to say much, if any thing, 
about his playing on these occasions, and always went away an 
altered being, ready to come back to me. His antipathy to play- 
ing in company, however, remained unshaken, and was frequently 


the cause of the greatest quarrels between him and his Mends and 

Haydn had been anxious that Beethoven should write on the 
titles of his early works, " Pupil of Haydn." To this, Beethoven 
objected, saying, that, although he had received some instructions 
from Haydn, yet he had never learnt any thing of him. Beethoven, 
during his first stay at Vienna, had been Mozart's pupil for a short 
tune, but used to complain of this great master never having played 
to him. Albrechtsberger gave him instructions in counterpoint. 
and Salieri in dramatic music. I was well acquainted with these 
three men : they all agreed in their regard for Beethoven, as well 
as in their opinion of his mode of learning. Each said Beethoven 
had always been so obstinate and self-willed, that his own hard- 
earned experience often had to teach him those things the study 
of which he would not hear of. This was more especially affirmed 
by Albrechtsberger and Salieri. The dry rules of the former, and 
the less important ones of the latter, on dramatic composition (in 
the old Italian school), would not excite any interest in Beethoven. 
We may therefore be allowed to doubt Seyfried's " incontrovertible 
evidence " as given in his Studies, that " Beethoven devoted his 
two years' apprenticeship with Albrechtsberger with unremitting 
perseverance to his theoretical studies." 

Ries says, hi his " Notizen," page 87, Beethoven had promised 
the three sonatas for piano-forte solo (Op. 31) to Nageli of Zurich, 
whilst his brother Carl (Caspar), who, alas ! always would inter- 
fere in his affairs, wanted to sell them to a Leipzig publisher. The 
brothers used to have frequent disputes on this subject, Beethoven 
being determined to keep his promise. At the time of sending 
off these sonatas, Beethoven lived in Heiligenstadt. He was one 
day walking with his brother, when a quarrel arose between them 
on this subject, which actually ended in blows. The next day he 
gave me the sonatas to be sent off to Zurich without delay. He had 
at the same time written to his brother, and sent the letter under 
cover to Stephen Breuning for perusal. I never heard a lectuie 
given more forcibly and more good-naturedly than that which 
Beethoven here preached to his brother, on his conduct of the 
preceding day. He began by showing it to him in its true and 
most despicable light ; then forgave him every thing, but warned 
him, that, if he valued his own future happiness, he must alter his 
life and conduct altogether. His letter to Breuning on thw occa- 
sion was no less beautiful than the above-mentioned. 

As a proof of Beethoven's extraordinary faculties, it may be here 
quoted, that, at the first rehearsal of his piano-forte Concerto in C 



uajur, which took place at his house, his piano proved to be half a 
tone lower than the wind instruments. He immediately desired 
these to tune in B instead of A, whilst he himself played his part 
in C sharp. 

Rics gives us a curious instance of the manner in which ui 
great master showed his originality. He says it is in the first move- 
ment of " Sinfonia Eroica " that Beethoven has vented his spleen 
npon the horn. Previous to the motivo returning in the second 
part, he has indicated it through the horn, whilst the two violins 
hold on the chord of the second. Those who are not initiated 
into this secret of the score must ever think the horn-player had 
miscounted, and made a wrong entry. At the first rehearsal of 
this symphony, which was a stormy one, and where the horn- 
player came in correctly, I stood next to Beethoven ; and, taking it 
for granted that the horn-player was wrong, I said, " Listen to that 
stupid fellow 1 Can he not count ? It sounds wretchedly I " I 
think my ears narrowly escaped being boxed, and Beethoven did 
not for some time forgive me.* He played the same evening his 
piano-forte quintette with wind instruments. Ram, the celebrated 
oboe-player of Munich, played also, and accompanied the quin- 
tette. At one of the pauses in the last allegro, previously to the 
subject coming on again, Beethoven of a sudden began to extem- 
porize, taking the rondo for his subject, thus amusing himself and 
his audience for some time. Not so his wind instruments. These 
lost their temper, particularly Mr. Ram, who was much incensed. 
It was indeed ludicrous to see these gentlemen, who were con- 

struments, and 


stantly expecting to recommence, putting up their instruments, 
as quickly taking them down again. At length, Beethoven 

* This passage ha* puzzled many a leader and conductor, and many have 
altered it thus: 




Whilst in the score it is written, 



latisfied, and returned to the rondo, the whole company being IB 

The Funeral March of the Grand Sonata (Op. 26,) in a flat 
minor ; dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, owes its existence to the 
high encomiums which were bestowed by Beethoven's friends on 
Paer's Funeral March in his Opera of " Achilles." * 

On Steibelt coming from Paris to Vienna, several of Beetho- 
ven's friends were afraid lest the great reputation of the former 
should be injurious to Beethoven. Steibelt did not call upon him ; 
and they first met at Count Fries's, where Beethoven performed 
his new trio in B major for piano, clarinet, and violin (Op. 11) 
for the first time. The player not having here an opportunity for 
display, Steibelt listened with a kind of condescension, and paid 
Beethoven some every-day compliment, thinking himself secure in 
his triumph. He played a quintette of his own, and an extem- 
pore fantasia, and produced much effect by the novelty of his 
tremulandos. Beethoven was not to be persuaded into a second 
performance. At a concert which took place a week later at 
Count Fries's, Steibelt again played a quintette, with much success, 
and had, moreover, got up for the occasion (as was palpably felt) 
a brilliant fantasia, upon the very subject of the variations in 
Beethoven's trio. This so incensed his admirers and himself that 
he was made to extemporize. He went up to the instrument in his 
usual, I may say uncouth manner, being half pushed towards it, 
took en passant the violoncello part of Steibelt's quintette, laid 
it (intentionally ?) upside down on the desk, and drummed a sub- 
ject, beginning at the first bars with one finger : but, having been 
excited and offended at the same time, he gave us such a perform- 
ance as to make Steibelt quit the room ere he had done, declaring 
he would never meet Beethoven again, and indeed making Beet- 
hoven's non-appearance a condition to those who desired to have 

Beethoven usually put off to the very last moment such compo- 
sitions as were to be ready at a stated period. Thus he had prom- 
ised the celebrated horn-player, Ponto, to write a sonata for piano- 
forte and French horn (Op. 17), and play it with him at Ponto's 
concert. This had been publicly announced, never having been 

* Beethoven being in the box of a much-esteemed lady during the perform- 
ance of La Molinara, she said, on hearing the -well-known Nel cerpiu,"! 
bad some variations on this subject, but have lost them." Beethoven, the same 
night, wrote the six Variations on this subject, and the next morning sent them 
to the lady, writing upon them, " Variazioni, &c., perdute da , rctrovat* 
Ja Liuigi v. B." They are so easy that the la iy might weil have playt- 1 them at 
irst aight. WEGBLEB. 


Commenced till the day before the concert, and was terminated for 

the performance. 

The celebrated Sonata in A minor (Op. 47), with violin-concert- 
ante, dedicated to Kreuzer, had originally been written for Bridge- 
tower, an English performer, and much in the same manner, 
although the first allegro was finished in good time. Bridgetower 
urged him on to set about it ; his concert being announced, and he 
anxious to study his part. I was suddenly called to Beethoven 
one morning at half-past four ; and he said, ' ; Write out this vio- 
lin part of the first allegro with all haste " (his usual copyist was 
already employed). He had but slightly sketched the piano-forte 
part, and Bridgetower played that lovely subject with variations in 
F major, from Beethoven's own manuscript, at eight in the morn- 
ing a.t his concert in the ' Augarten,' there being no time to copy 
it. The last allegro f A major, had, on the contrary, been beau- 
tifully copied both in the violin and piano-forte part, having ori- 
ginally belonged to the first sonata (Op. 30) in A major, dedi- 
cated to the Emperor Alexandria. He deemed it too brilliant for 
this work, and substituted those variations which we still find in it. 

Beethoven esteemed Mozart and Handel most of all composers, 
and next to them S. Bach. If ever I found him with music in 
his hand, or on his desk, it was sure to be that of one of these 
mighty men. Haydn rarely escaped without a side cut, partly, 
perhaps, from a former grudge he bore him, and of which the fol- 
lowing may be a cause : Beethoven's three Trios (Op. 1) were 
to be first ushered into the world of cognoscenti at one of Prince 
Lichnowsky's soirees. All those distinguished in the art had been 
invited, and Haydn amongst the number; fa's judgment being anx- 
iously looked up to. The trios were played, and at once created 
a great sensation. Haydn, too, expressed himself with much sat- 
isfaction to Beethoven, advising him, however, not to publish the 
third in C minor, whilst he, considering this the best, * was much 
struck by Haydn's advice, leaving him under the impression of be- 
ing envied, and looked upon rather in jealousy than as a friend. 

If, hi playing to him, I made a mistake in passages, or if I hap- 
pened to strike a wrong note where he required a particularly ac- 
centuated one, he seldom said any thing ; but if I showed any 
want of expression, if I omitted a crescendo, &c., or if I did not 
succeed in rendering the character of the piece, he became in- 
censed : the former, he said, was chance ; but the latter, want ot 
knowledge, of feeling, or of attention. Indeed, he himself migh/ 

A* it prove* to be ia our days, where it i alwayn the one most admire*. 


often be reproached with the former defect, even when playing U 

In the Second Symphony in D major, the manuscript score of 
which Beethoven gave me, something very striking occurs, in the 
larghetto quasi andante. This larghetto is so beautiful, so clear 
and bright, and the harmony so pure, that the hearer could not 
imagine it had ever been altered. The plan had indeed been the 
same from the beginning ; but in the second violin, as well as in 
many parts of the tenor, there are considerable alterations in the 
accompaniment; the original thoughts having been so carefully 
effaced as to render it impossible for me to trace them in spite of 
all the pains I took to that effect. On questioning Beethoven 
about it, he dryly retorted, " It is better thus." 

During a walk which I took with Beethoven, I was talking to 
him of two consecutive fifths which occur in one of his earliest 
violin-quartettes in C minor, and which, to my surprise, sound most 
harmoniously. Beethoven did not know what I meant, and would 
not believe they could be fifths. He soon produced the piece of 
music-paper which he was in the habit of carrying about with 
him, and I wrote down the passage with its four parts. When I 
had thus proved myself to be right, he said, " Well, and who for- 
bids them ? " Not knowing what to make of this question, I was 
silent ; and he repeated it several times, until I at length replied, 
in great amazement, " Why, it is one of the very first rules." 
He, however, still repeated his question ; and I answered, " Mar- 
purg, Kirnberger, Fuchs, &c., &c., in fact, all theorists." " Well, 
then, I permit them, " was his final answer. 

While Beethoven was playing with me at Count Brown's, his 
three marches for two performers, Op. 45, P was carrying 
on a loud and merry conversation with a beautiful young lady 
seated in the doorway near the anteroom. Beethoven made sev- 
eral attempts to silence them ; and, when these proved fruitless, 
suddenly, and in the midst of playing, lifted my hands off the keys, 
jumped up, and said, loud enough to be heard by everybody, " I do 
not play for such swine." All attempts to make him return to the 
piano proved fruitless, nor did he permit me to play any more. The 
music ceased accordingly, to the vexation of every person present. 

The following was the cause of his breaking with Himmel. 
They had met one day, and Beethoven sat down to extemporize at 
Himmel's request, afterwards desiring him to do the same. Him' 
wel was weak enough to consent ; and, after having played for 4 
jonaiderable time, Beethoven exclaimed, " Well, when are you 


going to legin in good earnest ? " .Himrnel, who had thought won* 
ders of his own performance, started up at these words, and both 
became rude to each other. Beethoven said to me, " I thought 
Hiinmel had just been preluding." They made it up afterwards, 
and Himmel could forgive but not forget. They even carried on a 
correspondence for some little time, but at last Himmel played 
Beethoven a sad trick. The latter always wanted to have the last 
Dews from Berlin, which somewhat annoyed Himmel, who ;it 
length wrote to him, " The latest piece of news is the invention 
of a lantern for the blind." Beethoven carried this piece of in- 
telligence abroad, and all the world wished to know how this 
might possibly be. He immediately wrote to Himmel, and re- 
proached him with not having sent a full explanation. The an- 
swer received, but which I cannot here impart, was such as finally 
elosed their correspondence. All that was ludicrous in the letter 
fell to Beethoven's share, and yet he was so imprudent as to show 
it to several persons. 

One of our country excursions led us on so far that we did not 
return to Dobling (Beethoven's residence ) till eight o'clock. He 
had been humming to himself the whole way, and keeping up a 
kind of howling, up and down, without articulating any distinct 
sounds. Upon asking him what he meant by this, he said " I have 
just thought of a subject for the last movement of the Sonata (in 
F minor, Op. 57 ). On entering the room, he ran up to the piano, 
without taking off his hat. I sat down in a corner, where he soon 
forgot me ; and for the next hour he went on storming over the 
keys until the finale, such as we now admire it, was struck out. 
At length he got up, and, surprised at still finding me there, said 
" I cannot give you a lesson to-day : I must work." 

Beethoven once laid down a serious plan for a joint and very 
extensive tour, where I was to have arranged the concerts, and 
played all his concertos and other works. He himself would have 
conducted and extemporized only. The latter was, in fact, the 
most extraordinary performance that could be witnessed, espe- 
cially when he was in good spirits, or otherwise excited. I never 
heard any one come near the height which Beethoven had attained 
in this branch of execution. The stores of thought which crowded 
upon him, the caprice by which he was led on, the variety of 
treatment, and the difficulties, whether accidental or called forth 
by himself, were inexhaustible. 

As we were one day talking of subjects for fugues at the con- 
slusioa of a less >n, I sitting at the piano, and he next to me, 1 
oegan to play the subject of the first fugue of Graun's " Death of 


Jesus." Beethoven soon played it after me, first with the Itfl 
hand, and then, bringing in the right, he worked it up for more 
than half an hour without the slightest interruption. I am still at 
a loss to think how he could bear his uncomfortable position ; but 
his inspiration made him insensible to external impressions. 

On dementi's coining to Vienna, Beethoven was going to call 
upon him ; but his brother persuaded him that Clementi ought to 
pay him the first visit. This he would probably have done, although 
much the older of the two, had there been no gossip about it. As 
it was, Clementi had been at Vienna for some time before he 
knew Beethoven even by sight. At one time we used often to 
dine at the " Swan," at one and the same table, Clementi with 
his pupil Klengel, Beethoven with me. We knew each other, bat 
did not speak or even bow, as by so doing we might either of us 
have forfeited our lessons ; for my own part, I know this must 
have been the case, as Beethoven never held a middle course. 

The Sonata in C major (Op. 53), dedicated to his first patron, 
Count Waldstein, had originally a long andante. A friend of 
Beethoven's pronounced this sonata to be too long, which brought 
him a volley of abuse in return ; upon quietly weighing the matter, 
however, my master convinced himself of the truth of this asser- 
tion. He then published the Grand Andante in F major, f time, 
separately, and afterwards composed the highly interesting intro- 
duction to the rondo, such as it now stands. This andante will 
ever bring a sad recollection to my mind. When Beethoven 
played it for the first time to his friend Krumpholz and me, we 
were so delighted with it, that, by dint of begging, we got him to 
play it over again. On my return home, as I passed Prince Lich- 
nowsky's door, I went in, to tell him of Beethoven's beautiful new 1 
composition, and was now compelled to play the piece as far as 1 
could remember it. As I went on, I remembered more and more 
of it, so that the prince made me try the whole over again. By 
this means he too learnt part of it ; and, thinking to afford Beetho- 
ven a surprise, he walked into his room the next day, saying, " I, 
too, have composed something which is not bad." Beethoven 
firmly declared he would not hear it ; but, in spite of this, the Prince 
sat down and played the greater part of the andante, to the 
amazement of the composer. He was so incensed at this that he 
vowed he never wo'Ud play to me again, no, nor even in my pres- 
ence, and often required of me to leave the room on that account. 
One day, as a small party were breakfasting with the prince after 
the concert at the " Augarten " (at eight in the morning), Beet- 
hoven and I being present, it was proposed that we should drive 
to Beethoven's house to hear his new opera " Leonora, " which had 


never been performed. Upon our arrival, Beethoven desired me 
to leave ; and, as the earnest solicitations of all present were of 
no avail, I did go, but with tears in my eyes. The whole party 
noticed it ; and Prince Lichnowsky, following my steps, desired 1 
would remain in the anteroom, and he would make up the mat- 
ter, of which, he considered himself to have been the cause. Of 
this, however, my wounded pride would not hear. I learnt after 
wards that Lichnowsky had reproached Beethoven with great vio- 
lence, as, after all, it was only the prince's love for the great com- 
poser's works which brought about the whole occurrence, and con- 
sequently Beethoven's wrath too ; but all this tended only to make 
matters worse, as he now declined playing to the company assem- 

The third of his Violin Quartettes in D major (Op. 18) was first 
composed, and the one in F, now the first, had originally been the 

Beethoven had scarcely travelled at all. He had in his younger 
years, towards the close of the century, been to Presburgh, Pesth, 
and once to Berlin. Although his manner was alike to men, 
whether of the highest or the lowest conditions, yet he was by no 
means insensible to the civilities of the former. Whilst at Berlin, 
he played several times at court (in the reign of Bang Frederick 
William II.), and there composed the two sonatas with violoncello 
obligate (Op. 5) for himself and Duport, first violoncello to the 
king. Beethoven was presented, on his departure, with a gold 
snuff-box filled with louis-d'ors ; and he used to relate with much 
complacency, that it was no common box, but such as is usual lv 
given to ambassadors. 

He used to see a good deal of Himmel, whom he set down as 
having a pleasing talent, but nothing more. His piano-forte play- 
ing he called elegant and agreeable, but said he must not be 
compared to Prince Louis Ferdinand. He paid the latter, as he 
thought, a great compliment, by telling him he did not consid-T 
him any thing like a royal or princely performer, but a famous 
piano-forte player. 

During Prince Ferdinand's stay at Vienna, the old Countess 

gave a musical soiree to a few friends, Beethoven amongst 

the number ; but, at supper, there was a table laid for the prince 
and the highest nobility alone, and no cover for Beethoven. He 
took fire, uttered some coarse expressions, and took his hat and left 
the house. A few days later, Prince Louis gave a dinner-party, to 
which the old countess had been invited. On sitting down, placet 


were assigned ta the countess on one, to Beethoven on the othet 
side of the prince, a distinction which he always talked of with 
great pleasure. 

My father's letter of introduction to Beethoven contained at the 
eame time a credit to a small amount, should I stand in need of 
it. I never made use of it ; but, whenever he found my cash run- 
ning low, he sent me money unsolicited, and never would allow me 
to refund it to him. He really loved me ; and, in one of his absent 
fits, gave me a singular proof of it. On my return to Silesia, where 
I had been as pianist to Prince Lichnowsky upon Beethoven's rec- 
ommendation, ne was in the act of shaving just as I entered his 
room, soaped up to his very eyes, to which his excessively strong 
beard extended. On perceiving me, he started up, and embraced 
. me with so much cordiality, that he effectually transferred every 
particle of the soapy substance- from his left cheek to my right. 
How we did laugh at this ! 

One evening, on coming to Baden to continue my lessons, I 
found Beethoven sitting on the sofa, a young and handsome lady 
beside him. Afraid of intruding my presence, which I judged 
might be unwelcome, I was going to withdraw ; but Beethoven pre- 
vented me, saying, " You can play in the mean tune." He and 
the lady remained seated behind me. I had been playing for some 
tune, when Beethoven suddenly exclaimed, " Kies, play us an 
" Amoroso ; " shortly after a " Malinconico ; " then an " Appassion- 
ato" &c. From what I heard, I could guess that he had in some 
way given offence to the lady, and was now trying to make up for 
it by such whimsical conduct. At last he started up, crying, 
" Why, that is my own, every bit ! " I had all along been playing 
extracts from his own works, linked together by short transitions, 
and thus seemed to have pleased him. The lady soon left ; and I 
found, to my utter astonishment, that Beethoven did not know who 
she was. I learnt that she had come in shortly before me to make 
his acquaintance. We followed her steps to discover her residence, 
and thence her rank : we saw her at a distance, the moon shining 
brightly, but found that she suddenly disappeared. We extended 
our walk through the lovely valley for the next hour and a half. 
On leaving him that night, he said, " I must find out who she is, 
and you must help." I met her a long time afterwards at Vienna, 
when I discovered her to be the mistress of some foreign prince. 
I communicated the news to Beethoven, but never heard any thing 
more concerning her, either from him or any one else. 

I never saw mor 5 of Beethoven than whilst I lodged at a tailor's 
irho had three 'nost beautiful daughters, of irreproachable con- 


duct. It ia to this he alludes when he thus concludes his letter of 
July 24, 1804 : " Do not tailor too much, make my respects to the 
fairest of the fair, and send me half a dozen needles." 

Beethoven took lessons of Krumpholz, on the violin, at Vienna ; 
and, when first I knew him,* we used to play his sonatas with 
violin together. This was, however, wretched music ; for, in his 
zealous ecstasy, he did not perceive that he had missed the right 
fingering of the passages. 

Beethoven was most awkward and helpless, and his every move- 
ment completely void of grace. He seldom laid his hand upon 
any thing without breaking it : thus he several times emptied the 
contents of the inkstand into the neighboring piano. No one 
piece of furniture was safe with him, and least of all a costly one : 
he used either to upset, stain, or destroy it. How he ever managed 
to learn the art of shaving himself still remains a riddle, leaving 
the frequent cuts visible in his face quite out of the question. He 
never could learn to dance in tune. 

Beethoven's Violin Quintette (Gp. 29), in C major, had been 
sold to a publisher at Leipzig, but was stolen at Vienna, and sud- 
denly appeared at Artaria & Go's. Having been copied in one 
night, it had innumerable mistakes, and whole bars had been left 
out. Beethoven behaved on this occasion with a degree of policy 
of which we in vain look for a second example in his life. He 
required Artaria to send me fii'ty printed copies for correction, but 
desired me at the same time to be so lavish of the ink upon the 
coarse paper, and to draw my pen so thickly through some of the 
lines, as to render it impossible for Artaria to sell or use any one of 
these copies. The corrections applied chiefly to the scherzo. I 
kept strictly to Beethoven's request ; and Artaria, to avoid a law- 
suit, was compelled to melt down the plates. 

Beethoven was very forgetful in most things. Count Browne 
having presented him with a beautiful horse, in return for the 
dedication of the variations in A major (No. 5, on a Russian air), 
he rode it a few times, but soon forgot it, and, what is worse, its 
food also. His servant, who became aware of this, began to hire 
out the horse for his own profit ; and, to avoid Beethoven's noticing 
this, he purposely kept back the bills tor provender, until at last 
a tremendously long one reached him. This at once recalled U 
his memory both his horse und his Ibrgettulness. 

* Consequently after hia bearing had been Impaired. WEOKUCB. 


Beethoven was at imes exceedingly passionate. One day, 
when I dined with him at " The Swan," the waiter brought him a 
wrong dish. Beethoven had no sooner uttered a few words of re- 

Eroof (to which the other retorted in no very polite manner), than 
e took the dish, amply filled with the gravy of the stewed beef il 
contained, and threw it at the waiter's head. Those who know 
the dexterity of Viennese waiters in carrying at one and the same 
time numberless plates full of different viands, will conceive the 
distress of the poor man, who could not move his arms, while the 
gravy trickled down his face. Both he and Beethoven swore and 
shouted, whilst all the parties assembled roared with laughter. At 
last, Beethoven himself joined the chorus, on looking at the waiter, 
who was licking in with his tongue the stream of gravy, which, 
much as he fought against it, hindered him from uttering any more 
invectives ; the evolutions of his tongue causing the most absurd 
grimaces. The picture was worthy a Hogarth. 

Beethoven scarcely knew what money was, which frequently 
caused unpleasant scenes; for, being suspicious by nature, he 
would fancy himself deceived without a cause. Irritable as he 
was, he used to call people cheats, an appellation which had often 
to be atoned for by a douceur to the waiters. At those hotels 
which he mostly frequented, they became at last so well acquainted 
with his fits of absence or eccentricity, that they would let him 
do any thing, and even allow him to leave without having paid his 

As to Beethoven's posthumous manuscripts, I have my doubts 
about them. The " (Euvres Posthumes " will not be acknowledged 
as such by me, unless I see them attested in his own handwriting. 
My reasons are the following : 

Firstly, Because during the time of my stay with him, from 
the year 1800 until November, 1805, and on my return to Vienna 
in 1809, there was no one manuscript in his possession. Beethoven 
was in arrears with works up to his death. 

Secondly, All such trifles and things which he never meant 
to publish, as not considering them worthy of his name, were 
secretly brought into the world by his brothers. Such were tin 1 
" Songs," published when he had attained the highest degree of 
fame, composed years before at Bonn, previous to his departure for 
Vienna; and in like manner other trifles, written for albums, &c., 
were secretly taken fro m him and brought out. 

Thirdly, As most of his letters addressed to me whilst in 
England speak of pecuniary distress, why should he not have sent 
me manuscripts, if possessed of any ? 

Again : After having succeeded and that not witkouJ 


trouble to get the Philharmonic Society of London to order 
three overtures of him, as their exclusive property, he sent me 
three, not one of which we could use. The public was naturally 
led to anticipate great things from such a name as Beethoven's : 
he was expected to produce works of no common order for these 
concerts ; and such alone could the Society bring forward. He 
published the three overtures three years later ; and the Society 
did not think this worth a prosecution. The overture to the 
" Ruins of Athens " was one of the three. I think it unworthy of 

Had Beethoven possessed better productions amongst his manu- 
scripts, he would doubtless have sent them to this Society : this 
his letters clearly prove. His frequent assertion, too, that he could 
live by his pen, makes me doubt the genuineness of the three post- 
humous piano-forte quartettes published by Artaria. I never 
could convince inysell that they were his. 

Beethoven could not possibly bave cobbled together from old 
themes his gigantic work, the " Three Sonatas," Op. 2, which he 
dedicated to Haydn, and which at once excited so great a sensa- 
tion in the musical world, any more than he could in later years 
have misapplied those themes for flimsy, ill-written quartettes ; 
for, till his death, bis genius was incessantly productive of origi- 

No. XL 


[Extracted from Seyfried's Work, " Beethoven Studlen," &e.] 

BEETHOVEN should by no means be offered as a model for direc- 
tors of orchestras. The performers under him were obliged 
cautiously to avoid being led astray by their conductor, who 
thought only of his composition, and constantly labored to depict 
the exact expression required by the most varied gesticulations. 
Thus, when the passage was loud he often beat time downwards, 
when his hand should have been up. A diminuendo he was in the 
habit of making by contracting his person, making himself smaller 
and smaller ; and when a pianissimo occurred, he seemed to slink, 
if the word is allowable, beneath the conductor's desk. As the 
toundft increased in loudness, so did he gradually rise up, as if out 


of an abyss ; and when the full force of the united instruments 
broke upon the ear, raising himself on tiptoe, he looked of gigantic 
stature, and, with both his arms floating about in undulating 
motion, seemed as if he would soar to the clouds. He was all 
motion, no part of him remained inactive, and the entire man 
could only be compared to a perpetuum mobile. When his deaf- 
ness increased, it was productive of frequent mischief; for the 
maestro's hand went up when it ought to have descended. He 
contrived to set himself right again most easily in the piano pas- . 
sages, but of the most powerful fortes he could make nothing. In 
many cases, however, his eye afforded him assistance; for he 
watched the movements of the bows, and, thus discovering what 
Tras going on, soon corrected himself. 

^ Among his favorite dishes was bread -soup, made in the manner 
of pap, in which he indulged every Thursday. To compose this, 
ten eggs were set before him, which he tried before mixing them 
with the other ingredients ; and if it unfortunately happened that 
any of them were musty, a grand scene ensued ; the offending cook 
was summoned to his presence by a tremendous ejaculation. She, 
however, well knowing what might occur, took care cautiously to 
stand on the threshold of the door, prepared to make a precipitate 
retreat ; but, the moment she made her appearance, the attack com- 
menced, and the broken eggs, like bombs from well-directed bat- 
teries, flew about her ears, their yellow and white contents covering 
her with viscous streams. 

He never walked in the streets without a note-book, in which he 
entered whatever occurred to him at the moment. If the con- 
versation accidentally turned upon this habit, he parodied the 
words of Joan of Arc, " Without my colors I must not come," 
and with undeviating firmness observed the self-imposed law. But 
his regularity was confined to this. The most exquisite confusion 
reigned in his house. Books and music were scattered in all direc- 
tions, here the residue of a cold luncheon ; there some full, some 
half-emptied bottles; on the desk the hasty sketch of a new quar- 
tette ; in another corner the remains of breakfast ; on the piano- 
forte the scribbled hints for a noble symphony, yet little more 
than in embryo ; hard by, a proof-sheet, waiting to be returned ; 
letters from friends, and on business, spread all over the floor ; be- 
tween the windows a goodly Stracchino cheese, and on one side of 
it ample vestiges of a genuine Verona salai. And, notwithstand- 
ing all this confusion, he constantly eulogized, with Ciceronian 
eloquence, his own neatness and love of order ! When, however, 
for whole hours, days, and often weeks, something mislaid waa 
loosed for, and all search had proved fruitless, then be changed 


his tone, and bitterly complained that everything was done to an- 
noy him. But the servants knew the natural goodness of their 
master. They suffered him to rave ; and in a few moments it was all 
forgotten, till a similar occasion renewed the scene. 

He himself often joked about his almost illegible characters, and 
used to add, by way of excuse, " Life is too short to paint letters 
or notes, and fairer notes would hardly rescue me from poverty " 
(punning upon the words Not en and Nothen). The whole of the 
morning, from the earliest dawn till dinner-time, was employe! in 
the mechanical work of writing ; the rest of the day was devoted 
to thought, and the arrangement of his ideas. Scarcely had the 
last morsel been swallowed, when, if he had no more distant ex- 
cursion in view, he took his usual walk ; that is to say, he ran in 
double-quick time, as if haunted by bailiffs, twice round the town. 
Whether it rained, or snowed, or hailed, or the thermometer stood 
an inch or two below the freezing point, whether Boreas blew a 
chilling blast from the Bohemian mountains, or whether the thun- 
der roared and forked lightnings played, what signified it to the 
enthusiastic lover of his art, in whose genial mind, perhaps, were 
budding, at the vei-y moment when the elements were in fiercest 
conflict, the harmonious feelings of a balmy spring I 

Beethoven permitted himself but rarely, even among his inti- 
mate friends, to express his opinions of contemporary artists. His 
own words, however, will attest what he thought of the four fol- 
lowing masters : 

" Cherubini is, in my opinion, of all the living composers, the 
most admirable. Moreover, as regards his conception of the Re- 
quiem, my ideas are in perfect accordance with his ; and some time 
or other, if I can but once set about it, I mean to profit by the 
hints to be found in that work. 

" C. M. Weber began to learn too late. The art had not time to 
develop itself, and his only and very perceptible effort was, to at- 
tain the reputation of geniality. 

" Mozart's, ' Zauberflote ' will ever remain his greatest work ; for in 
this he showed himself the true German composer. In ' Don 
Giovanni,' he still retained the complete Italian cut and style ; and, 
moreover, the sacred art should never suffer itself to be degraded 
to the foolery of so scandalous a subject. 

"Handel is the unequalled master of all masters. Go, turn to 
him, and learn, with few means, how to produce such effects." 

" What is Rossini V " he was once asked. He immediately 
wrote in answer, as, aller he became deaf, he spoke but little, 
" A good scene-painter." 


During his last illness, it was found necessary to draw off the 
water ; and, during the operation, he observed, " Rather water 
from ray body than from my pen." 

He received a flattering invitation from a musical society to 
compose a cantata, the request being accompanied by a portion 
of the sum to be paid for the work. Beethoven accepted it. For 
a very long time, however, nothing more was heard of him. Then 
came, couched in the most delicate terms, a letter to remind him 
of his engagement, signed, in consequence of the absence of the 
president of the society, by his locum tenens (Stellvertreter). The 
reply was, " I have not forgotten ; such things must not be hur- 
ried; I shall keep my word. Beethoven, MP. * (Selbstvertre- 
ter) se ipsum tenens ! " 

Alas ! he could not keep his word. 

If he happened not to be in the humor, it required pressing and 
reiterated entreaties to get him to the piano-forte. Before he be- 
gan in earnest, he used sportively to strike the keys with the palm 
of his hand, draw his finger along the key-board from one end to 
the other, and play all manner of gambols, at which he laughed 

During his summer residence at the seat of a Mecaenas, he was 
on one occasion so rudely pressed to exhibit before the stranger 
guests, that he became quite enraged, and obstinately refused a 
compliance which he considered would be an act of servility. A 
threat that he should be confined a prisoner to the house uttered, 
no doubt, without the slightest idea of its being carried into execu- 
tion so provoked Beethoven, that, night-time as it was, he ran 
off, upwards of three miles, to the next town, and thence, travel- 
ling post, hurried to Vienna. As some satisfaction for the indig- 
nity offered him, the bust of his patron became an expiatory sac- 
rifice. It fell, shattered into fragments, from the book-case to the 

Durinj* one of my visits to Vienna, my brother, who ia a resi- 
dent of Prague, made a journey expressly to see me; and ono 
morning, finding I had an appointment with Beethoven, was ex- 
ceedingly anxious to get a sight of a man of such celebrity, whom 
he had never yet had an opportunity of seeing. It was very nat- 
ural that I should wish to gratify his curiosity ; but I told him, 
that although he was my own brother, yet I knew the peculiari- 
ties of the man so well, that nothing could induce me to commit 
the indiscretion of an introduction. He was, however, too intent 

* Manu propria, with his own hand. 


upon his wish to let the opportunity escape without a further en- 
deavor, and said that, surely, I might allr w him to call, as if in 
furtherance of another appointment which we had mutually made. 
To this I consented ; and off we went to Beethoven's, where I left 
my brother in the passage below to watt the issue of our arrange- 
ment. I remained with -Beethoven about half an hour, when 
taking out my watch, and looking at it, I hastily wrote in his con- 
versation-book that I had a particular appointment at that hour, 
and that I apprehended my brother was still waiting below to ac- 
company me. Beethoven, who was sitting at the table in his shirt- 
sleeves, instantly started from his seat, and, quitting the room with 
precipitation, left me in no little embarrassment, wondering what 
was to follow. In a minute afterwards back he came, dragging in 
my brother by the arm, and in a hurried m?.nner forced him into 
a seat. " And is it possible," said he, " that you, too, could think 
me such a bear as not to receive your brother with kindness ? " 
My brother, who had before received some vague insinuations that 
the renowned composer was not at all times in his sober senses, 
looked as pale as ashes, and only began to regain his self-posses- 
sion on hearing the question which Beethoven so kindly, yet so re- 
proachfully, asked me ; for it appeared that the latter had rushed 
precipitately down the stairs, and, without saying a word, seized 
my brother by the arm, and dragged him up stairs as if he had 
caught hold of a criminal. No sooner was my brother fairly seated 
than he behaved in the most kind and obliging manner towards 
him, pressing him to take wine and other refreshments. This simple 
but abrupt act clearly shows, that, however strange his manners 
were, he nad at heart that kindly and good feeling which ever ac- 
companies genius. If we were to take the external manner for 
the internal man, what egregious mistakes should we often make ! 



The Property found after his Death. Correspondence relative t 
the Gift made to Beethoven by the Philharmonic Society of London. 



VIKNNA, March 24, 1827. 

My dear good Moschelex, You must not be surprised at the 
difference of date between these two letters. I wish to retain 


Beethoven's for a few days, because, on the day after that letter 
was written, i.e., the 19th of March, we had every reason to fear 
that our great master was about to breathe his last. This event, 
however, has not yet happened ; but by the time you read these 
lines, my good Moscheles, our friend will be no longer among the 
living. His dissolution approaches with rapid steps ; and indeed 
it is the unanimous wish of us all to see him released from his 
dreadful sufferings. Nothing else remains to be hoped for. One may 
indeed say, that, for the last eight days, he has been more like a 
dead than living man, being able only now and then to muster suffi- 
cient strength to ask a question, or to inquire for what he wanted. 
His condition appears, to all accounts, to be very similar to that 
which was lately endured by the Duke of York. He is in an almost 
constant state of insensibility, or rather of stupor ; his head hang- 
ing down on his chest, and his eyes staringly fixed for hours upon 
the same spot. He seldom recognizes his most intimate acquaint* 
ances, and requires to be told who stands before him. This is 
dreadful to behold ; but only for a few days longer can such a state 
of things last. Since yesterday all the natural functions of the 
body have ceased : he will, therefore, please God, soon be released, 
and we shall no longer have to behold his sufferings. 

Crowds of people flock to his abode, to see him for the last time, 
though none are admitted, except those who are bold and auda- 
cious enough to molest the dying man in his last hours. 

We have been so fortunate as to arrange every thing respecting 
his last will, though there is hardly any thing left but a few pieces 
of old furniture and some manuscripts. He had in hand a quin 
tette for stringed instruments, and the Tenth Symphony, of which 
he makes mention in his letter to you. Of the quintette, there are 
two movements entirely finished ; and it was intended for Diabelli.* 

The day immediately succeeding the receipt of your letter, he 
was in extremely good spirits, and talked much of the plan of the 
symphony, which was to have proved so much the more grand, as 
it was intended for the Philharmonic Society. He has frequently 
spoken of a journey to England as soon as he should recover, and 
had calculated how he and myself could live most economically on 
the tour. But, good God ! his journey will probably lead him 
much further than to England. When he found himself a little 
relieved, he amused himself with reading the ancient Greek 
authors ; also several of Walter Scott's novels. As soon as your 
consolatory letter had reached him, all his melancholy thoughts, 
and all his dread of future misery, at once vanished. He cheer- 
fully said, " Now we may again occasionally treat ourselves with a 
merry day." His funds had been aheady nearly exhausted ; and 

* A miulc-0Ilr at Vlenn*. 


he had consequently been obliged for sc me time past to retrench 
his table, which grieved him more than any thing else. He imme- 
diately desired to have his favorite dish of fish, even if it were 
only that he might taste of it. The exaltation of his mind is indeed 
so great, that he at times borders upon the childish. We were 
also obliged to procure for him a great arm-chair, which cost fifty 
florins, on which he rests daily at least for half an hour, whilst his 
room and bed are arranging. His caprice, or rather obstinacy, 
are, however, excessive, just as ever ; and this falls particularly 
hard upon me, since he wishes to have absolutely nobody about 
him but myself. And what remained for me to do in this, but to 
give up my teachin ; and my whole business, in order to devote all 
my time to him ? Every thing he eats or drinks I must taste first, 
to ascertain whether it might not be injurious for him. However 
willingly I do all this, yet this state of things lasts too long for a 
poor devil like myself. Whatever there remains of the thousand 
florins, we intend to apply in defraying the expenses of a respect- 
able interment, which shall be performed without parade in the 
churchyard near Dobling,* where he ever delighted to roam. 

As early as during your last visit to this city,-)- I stated to you 
the condition of Beethoven's finances, but did not at that time ap- 
prehend that we were to see this excellent man so soon arrive, 
and thus miserably too, at his last moment. 

[Interval of some boon.] 

I have just left Beethoven. He is certainly dying : before this 
letter is beyond the walls of the city, the great light will have 
become extinct forever. He is still in full possession of his senses. 
The enclosed lock I have just cut from his head. I hasten to des- 
patch the letter, in order to run to him. God bless you ! 

Your most sincere friend, 




VIENNA, March 28, 1827. 

Dear Friend, Beethoven is no more. He departed this life, in 
a most painful struggle and with dreadful sufferings, on the 26th 
instant, between five and six o'clock, P.M., after having been insen 
uible for the last twenty-four hours. 

And now as to the state of his affairs. My last letter to you 

* A Tillage in a romantic country, about three miles from Vienna, 
t Toward* the latter end of 1328. 


spoke of notLing but the extreme want and poverty in which ha 
was, according to his own statements ; and yet, when an inventory 
of his effects was taken in my presence, we found, in an old, half- 
mouldy box, no less than seven bank-shares. Whether Beethoven 
had hidden these intentionally (for he was naturally mistrustful, 
and hoped for a speedy recovery), or whether their possession had 
escaped his own memory, is a problem which I do not venture to 

The sum of one thousand florins, as sent by the Philharmonic 
Society, was found untouched. I laid claim to it in conformity 
with your instructions, but was obliged to deposit it with the ma- 
gistrates until further notice from the Society as to its final disposal. 
I would not consent to their defraying the burial expenses out of 
this money without the Society's authorization to that effect. 
Should you have it in your power to dispose of any part of the 
money, pray let it be done in favor of the two old servants who 
have attended the patient with the utmost care and devotedness, 
and who poor faithful creatures 1 have been entirely forgotten 
in the will, Beethoven's nephew being named his sole heir.* As 
to the present which Beethoven intended sending to the Philhar- 
monic Society, you will hear of it in due time from Mr. Schindler. 
Let me know soon and circumstantially what steps I am to take, 
and you may rely upon my conscientiousness in fulfilling your 
wishes. Beethoven will be buried on the 29th ; and an invitation 
to attend the funeral has been sent to all professors of the differ- 
ent chapels and theatres. The body will be borne by twenty com- 
posers, and as many more will be torch-bearers ; Grillparzer has 
written a most affecting address, to be spoken by Anschutz at the 
grave : indeed, every thing which could be done to render the 
solemnity worthy of the deceased seems to be in preparation. 

Your Mend, 


Extract of a Letter from 

VIENNA, Sept. 14, 1827. 

My decor Friend, I avail myself of the departure for London 
of Mr. Levisey, the English courier, to write, and also intrust tc 

* In answer to the above, I Informed Mr. Rau, in the name of the Phllharmou 
Ic Society, that the money having been sent for the express purpose, and on 
condition that Beethoven himself should make use of it, the Society would, now 
that the event had taken place before the end In view could be achieved, expect 
the money to be returned. BD. 


his care a memorial of our friend Beethoven, since in your last 
you wished for a manuscript of some well-known composition of 
the great master. Well, here is the end of the scherzo of the last 
symphony, and along with it one of those memorable sketch-books 
which Beethoven used mostly to fill in the open air, and after- 
wards to write his scores from them at home. I was so fortunate 
as to rescue several of them ; and to me they are of the deepest 
interest, since they are scarcely intelligible to the uninitiated. I 
must tell you that the one I send contains sketches of one of hia 
last quartettes ; and, should you ever hear that work, you will no 
doubt recognize some of the passages, written down at full length. 
I believe I cannot better prove you my friendship than by sending 
you this relic, the first and only one I shall ever part with. Mr. 
L r informs me he has already sent you Beethoven's portrait. 
I trust it is thai lithograph in which he is represented sitting and 
writing, as all others are bad : on the sheet of paper before him 
stands " Missa Solemnis." I meant to send you all this together 
through Mr. Clementi, whose acquaintance I made at Baden ; but 
he left before I was aware of it. 

Most sincerely, your friend, 



VIBNNA, Feb. 15, 1828. 

Dear Friend, I send you enclosed a letter from the guardian 
of Beethoven's nephew, who is named his sole heir, by which you 
will see that matters are drawing to a close. I was requested, 
officially, to make a deposition respecting the thousand florins 
which die Philharmonic Society of London had given to Beetho- 
ven ; but not having heard from you to that effect, and not wishing 
to take any responsibility upon myself, I requested a delay suffi- 
cient to allow of my writing, and receiving your answer. The 
guardian's letter will at once show you how matters stand.* And 

* The above-mentioned enclosure from the guardian (Mr. Hotechilar, imperial 
notary) urges still more forcibly all that Mr. Rau hints confidentially, with the 
request that I wonld lay before the Philharmonic Society the case of young 
Beethoven (then under age), and earnestly solicit that body not to reclaim tha 
one thousand florins, hut. in honor of the great deceased, allow the email patri- 
mony, which he spared no sacrifice in securing for his nephew, to remain un- 
touched. I complied with Mr. Hotechilar's request ; and the Society gave its tacit 
consent by relinquishing all further proceedings, thus doing homage to tb 
great man even In death. 


now between ourselves. If you could induce the directors to give 
up the thousand florins, it would save much trouble, and perhaps a 
lawsuit. Even Dr. Eltz and Baron Eskeles think it would be 
most difficult to identify the thousand florins found in Beethoven's 
possession at his death with those sent by the Society, the more so 
as Hofrath Breuning, who had been appointed to take the inven- 
tory, has died since. Should the money, however, contrary to all 
expectations, be required back again, it will be necessary for the 
Philharmonic Society to send Dr. Eltz a legal writ, empowering 
him to proceed for them, and at their expense : this might indeed 
eat up the whole sum. Fray write soon and moft explicitly. . . . 

Your friend, 


NO. xm. 


Hie 29th of March, 1827, was fixed upon for the funeral of the 
lamented Beethoven. The following fac-simile of the card (on 
the opposite page), relative to the funeral, may not be uninterest- 
ing to the reader. 

Translation of the Card. 




Which IB to take place on the 29th of March, at three o'clock in the 

The company will assemble at the lodgings of the deceased, in the Schwarz- 
spanier House, No. 200, on the Glacis, before the Scotch Gate. 

The procession will thence go to Trinity Church, at the Fathers' 
Minorites in Alser Street. 

The musical world sustained the irreparable loss of this celebrated com- 
poser about six o'clock in the evening of the 26th of 
March, 1827. 

BEETHOVEN died of dropsy, in the 66th year of his age, after receiv- 
ing the Holy Sacraments. 

The day of the exequies will be made known hereafter by 


Admirers and Friends." 


This card having been largely distributed, all the necessary ar 
rangements for the funeral were made with the utmost zeal and 
promptitude by Mr. Haslinger, the music-publisher, and Messrs. 
Schindler and Hart, friends of the deceased. The morning was 
fine ; and at an early hour crowds of people began to assemble on 
the Glacis of Alservorstadt. the quarter of the town in which 
Beethoven resided. Towards the middle of the day, the numbers 
had increased to upwards of twenty thousand persons of all 
classes ; and so great was the pressure round the residence of the 
deceased, that it was found necessary to close the gates of the 
court-yard, where, under an awning, stood the coffin raised upon a 
bier, and surrounded by mourners. At half-past four the proces- 
sion began to move, the way having been cleared by a body of the 
military. Eight principal singers of the Opera House, Eichber- 
ger, Schuster, Cramolini, A. Miiller, Hoffmann, Rupprecht, Bors- 
chitzky, and A. Wranitzky, had offered to carry the coffin on 
their sho jlders. After the priest had pronounced some prayers, 
the singers performed a highly impressive Funeral Chant by B. 
A. Weber, and the whole procession moved forward in the follow- 
ing order : 

1. The cross-bearer ; 2. Four trombone-players, the brothers 
Bock, Waidl, and Tuschky ; 3. The master of the choir, M. Ass- 
mayer ; and, under his direction, 4 A choir of singers, M. Tietze, 
Schnitzer, Gross, Sikora, Friihwald, Geissler, Rathmeyer, Kokre- 
ment, Fuchs, Nejebse, Ziegler, Perschl, Leidl, Weinkopf, Pfeiffer, 
and Seipelt, which, alternately with the trombone quartette, per- 
formed the " Miserere." This walking orchestra was immediately 
followed by, 5. The high priest ; 6. The coffin, borne by the above- 
mentioned opera-singers, and attended by the chapel-masters, 
Eybler, Hummel, Seyfried, and Kreutzer, on the right, and Weigl, 
Gyrowetz, Gansbacher, and Wtirfel, upon the left, as pall-bearers. 
On both sides, from the beginning of the procession to the coffin, 
were the torch-bearers, thirty-six in number, consisting of poets, 
authors, composers, and musicians, among whom were M. Grill- 
parzer, Anschutz, Bernard, Castelli, Mayseder, C. Czerny, J. 
Bohin, Linke, Hildebrand, Schuppanzigh, Holz, Katter, Krall, 
Baron Lannoy, J. Merk, F. Schubert, Riotte, Schoberlechner, 
Steiner, Haslinger, Sig. Lablache, David, Radichi, Mechetti, Meric, 
Pacini, Meier, Schick, Schmidl, Streicher, Weidman, Wolfmeyer, 
C. Graf, Raimund, Piringer, Griinbaum, &c. ; the whole in full 
mourning, with white roses and bunches of lilies fastened to the 
crape on their arms. Next followed Beethoven's brother, and M. 
von Breuning (one of the earliest friends of the deceased, and tho 
executor of his last will), the pupils of the Conservatorio, and the 
scholars of Kapell-meister Drechsler (the thorough-bass teacher of 


St. Ann's), all deeply lamenting the loss which the musical world 
had sustained. 

As the procession approached the church, the " Miserere " * was 
intoned to an original melody of the deceased, with an accompani- 
ment of four trombones. The history of this striking composition 
is as follows : When Beethoven was, in the autumn of 1812, 
visiting his brother, at the time an apothecary in Linz, he was re- 
quested by M. Glb'gll, kapell-meister of the cathedral, to compose 
some movement of a solemn kind for the approaching festival of 
All Souls. Beethoven willingly undertook the task, and wrote a 
piece, entitled " Equale a quatro Tromboni," remarkable for the 
originality of the harmonies, and its faithful imitation of the 
genuine antique style, f 

On the morning of the 26th of March, 1827, when all hope of 
Beethoven's recovery had been given over, Mr. Haslinger repaired 
with it to Kapell-meister Seyfried, with a request that he would 
adapt the words of the " Miserere" to this " Equale," that the body 
of the prince of musicians might be accompanied to its everlasting 
rest by his own creations. M. Seyfried, in pursuance of this idea, 
undertook the work, which was finished the night following 
Beethoven's death, with infinite judgment and good taste. The 
movements were arranged for four voices (two tenors and two 
basses) and four trombones. 

On reaching the church, the body was placed on a bier at the 
foot of the high altar, when, after the usual prayers, was sung the 
solemn anthem Libera me Domine, de morte eternd, composed by 
Kapell-meister von Seyfried, in the genuine ecclesiastical style. On 
quitting the church, the coffin was placed in a hearse drawn by 
four horses, which proceeded towards the burial-ground at Wahring, 
followed by a line of more than two hundred carriages. On 
reaching^ the gates of the cemetery, the following poem, from the 
pen of Grillparzer, was recited by Anschiitz, the tragedian, in a 
very feeling manner: 

'Tis done ! A master-spirit of the age 

Has passed away to his eternal rest: 
Henceforth his name belongs to history's page, 

Enrolled with men the noblest and the best. 
Yet, though his name does to all time belong, 

Ye lately heard and saw the wondrous man, 
Ye heard his living voice, his living song, 

And to receive his dying accents ran. 
Then deep in mem'ry treasure up his form: 

That brow, though stern, with sweetest fancies fraught 

* Given in the following pages. ED. 

t The original MS. of this carious production is in the rosaesalon of It*. Ha* 
linger, and prized aa a relic of no common kind. ED. 


That eye with inspiration kindling warm; 

That bosom laboring with the force of thought. 
And ye, to whom it was not given to view 

His living lineaments with wpnd'ring eye, 
May in his tones behold him pictured true, 

In breathing colors that can never die. 
Yes : he could paint, in tones of magic force, 

The moody passions of the varying soul, 
Now winding round the heart with playful course, 

Now storming all the breast with wild control. 
Forthdrawing from his unexhausted store, 

'Twas his to bid the burdened heart o'erflow: 
Infusing joys it never knew before, 

And melting it with soft, luxurious woe ! 
We came his funeral rite to celebrate, 

Obedient to fond love and duty's call; 
But on this moment such proud feelings wait, 

It seems a joyous birthday festival. 
He liveth ! It is wrong to say he's dead: 

The sun, though sinking in the fading west, 
Again shall issue from his morning bed, 

Like a young giant vigorous from his rest. 
He lives ! for that is truly living, when 

Our fame is a bequest from mind to mind: 
His life is in the breathing hearts of men, 

Transmitted to the latest of his kind. 

Baron von Schlechta and M. Castelli read short but eloquent 
poems to the sorrowing multitude ; and, before the grave was closed, 
M. Haslinger put into the hands of M. Hummel three wreaths of 
laurel, which were dropped upon the coffin. The mourners waited 
till the earth was smoothed over the grave. All the visitants in 
turn took a last farewell of the mortal remains of a great genius ; 
and returned home in silence, the shades of evening having by 
this time gathered around. 

On the 3d of April, 1827, a solemn tribute was paid to the 
memory of Beethoven at the imperial church of St. Augustine by 
the performance of Mozart's requiem, in which the great singer 
Lablache sung the bass part in a manner that produced a deep 
impression, and shows him to be a profound artist: the whole 
terminated with the solemn " Miserere " and " Libera " of Kapell- 
meister von Seyfried. On the 5th of April, 1827, was performed, in 
the Church of St. Charles, the whole of Cherubini's celebrated 
requiem, admirably executed under the direction of Kapell-meister 
Hummel. A musical performance also took place, by way of 
opening a subscription for a monument to Beethoven. It com- 
menced with the celebrated pastoral symphony of the lamented 
master, which was followed by a kyrie from his Second Mass in D. 
From the Abbe Vogler's celebrated " Missa pro Defunctis " were 
given the " Dies Irae," the " Sanctus," and " Benedictus." The 


whole closed with Catel's " Overture to Semiramis." The selec- 
tion was admirably performed, and the object proposed adequately 






Ad . Triste . Mortis . Nuncium. 
Omnes . Flevere . Gentes. 

Coelitum . Chore. 


FATO mortalis ; VITA bonus ; ARTE perannta, 

MOBTJB SUQIU MOBIKN8 exliuit ip86 daCW. 










. <y 

Mi - se - re - re me - - i, 


Mi - Be - re - re me - - i, 


Mi- se- re -re me - - i, 

Mi - se - re - re me - - i, 






r nr r r r 



mi- Be - re - re me- i De - us, 

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mi- se - re - re me - i De - us, 



-re -re me - i Ue-us, mi -se- re -re 

mi- se - re-re me-i De - us, mi-se- 


-re-re me - i De- -us, mi - se - re - re 


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me - - i De - - us, mi - se - re - re 

r r r r 

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me - - i 

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me - - i BC- cun .... dum 


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mag - - - nam mi - se - ri - cor - di - am, 

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cun-dum mngnnT" mi - - se - ri - cor - di - <tTr * l 


' r r'T'^Jj 


mi- - se - - ri - - cor - - di - - am, 

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mi - - sc - -ri- - cor di - - am, 


mi- -se- -ri- - cor - - di - - am, 

/ /* 




mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - - am, 


mi - se - ri - cor - di - am . tu - - am 


fir rir rrr^^ 

mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - - am, 


^ru j|J J-j 


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r rff r $-4 

mi - se - re - re me - i De - - 


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mi -se- re -re me - - i De - - 

mi - se - re - re me-i De-- 





us, mi- se - re - re me-ise- cun - dum 


f 9- 


mi -BC - re - re me - i M 

r - 

nu -se - re - re 





vung - - nam, mi - se - ri - cor - di - am 


re - -re, mi-se-ri- cor - di - am 


cun - - - dum, mi - se - ri - cor - di - 

me ... i, mi- se - ri - cor - di- am 



tu - - am. 

se - - cun - - dum 

tu - - am se - - cun - - dum mag - 

tu - - am BC - - cun - - dum mag - - nam 

tu - - am. 

- - con - - dum 







mag nam mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - am ! 




- nam mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - am ! 

r r rrr-^u 

mag - nam mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - am ! 


mag - nam mi - se - ri - cor - di - am tu - am ! 





/ > oco sostenuto. 


I mo. 





r r nr rr r re 

Am - pli - us la - va me ab i - ni-qui- ta- te 



r F- 

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Am - pli - us la - va me ab i - ni-qui- ta- te 


Am-pli-UB la - ra me ab i - ni-qui- ta- te 

Poco sostenuto. 




ur* --ir r 

fg> PI^ f 3 


et s pec - ca - to 


me - - a, 


me - - a, 

et a pec - ca - to 

et a pec - ca - to 

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et a pec - ca - to 


"r F 





me - o nran -da me 

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mo - o mrm . da mo 


>r r- rir r nr yy '' r 

me - - o man - - da me et a pee - 

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m - o mun - da me et a pee - 


r - 


g^.b^z tft; 





f Mr rt 

et a pec - ca - to a pec - ca - - to 



et a pec - ca - to a pec - ca - - to 

ca - to pec- ca- to me - o 


ca - to pec- ca- to me - o 









me - - o 

mun - - da me! 



^ -sr 


me - - o 

mun - - da me! 



me - - o 

mun - - da me ! 


i?y i r ^T" r r 

me - - o 

man - - da me ! 














Li - be - ra me Do-mi-ne li - be - ra de mor-te ae - 

v ft =: 

g r rir r rm r rir rr 

Li - be - ra me Do-mi-ne li - be - ra de mor-te ae 

f> ft =: 

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I ' l I I- 


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m^-\ p F 

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to - - n* indi-eil-latre- men - da. 



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jOU? UJ^ I 51 

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ter - - - 

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dum ve - ne- ris ju- di - ca- re see - cu- lum ju- di- ca- re 


'-0 19 

dum ve - ne- ris ju- di - ca- re sa - cu- lum ju- di- ca- re 

dum ve - ne- ris ju- di - ca- re sae - cu- lum ju- di- ca- le 

dum ve - ne- ris ju- di - ca- re sae - cu- lum ju- di- ca- re 





sse - culum per ig - - - 

nem. Tremens fac - tus sum 




sas - culum per ig - - - 

nem. Tremens fac - tus sum 

sae - culum per ig - - - nem. Tremens fac - tus sum 

sie - culum per ig - - - nem. Tremens fac tus ram 

h- - 

m u,. ^ 

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o dum dis-cus-si- 

o ve - ne - 


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at - que Ten - tu - ra i - - - ra. Quando 

coe - li mo - Ten-di sunt et 



coe - li mo - Ten-di sunt et ter 


cce - li mo - Ten-di sunt et ter ------ ra. 

ooe - li mo Ten-di sunt et ter 



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ta- tis et mi - se - ri - - ae, di - es mag-na, 

ta - tis et mi - se - ri - - ae, di - es mag-na, 


ta-tis et mi - se - ri - - ae, di- es mag-na, 




ta- tis et mi - se - ri - - ae, di - es, di - es mag - na. 





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a - 

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dum ve- 

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b p , 1 N H 1 1 1 1-. 



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f f f 

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ter - nam do - na, do - na e - - is Do - mi - ne. 


^ <g 

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ter- nam do - na, do - na e- -u Do - mi - ne. 



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^-m r r r rfrrniErm 

ve - ne - ris ju - di - ca - re sae - cu-lum ju - di - ca - re 


c rir r r 

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r r rif^ 

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88? cu - lum per ig 

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S33 - - cu - lum per ig 

:u lum per ig 


No. XIV. 


It was in the summer of the year 1837, that the citizens of 
Bonn, who had for the last two years been actively engaged in 
raising funds for the erection of a monument to Beethoven in hii 
native city, addressed Lord Burghersh, through the Baron vor 
Schlegel, president of their managing committee, in the following 
letter : 

" My Lord, Monsieur le Baron de Bulow has encouraged me 
to address your lordship on behalf of the proposed monument to 
Ludwig van Beethoven, in his native town of Bonn. This project 
has been most favorably entertained in Germany : we have received 
the profits of many concerts given for this purpose in the small as 
well as large towns, besides private subscriptions ; nevertheless, 
our means are still insufficient for the execution of a monument in 
all respects worthy of this great genius. Besides, his glory would 
remain imperfect if we did not obtain for it some conspicuous sup- 
port from abroad, and especially from London, which has become 
one of the principal places in Europe in which music is cultivated 
in the greatest perfection. A public concert, given in that capital, 
in aid of the monument to Beethoven, would complete our wishes. 

" If a connoisseur and patron of talent like your lordship would 
deign to encourage such an undertaking, distinguished artists will 
zealously assist, and the numerous admirers of Beethoven will not 
refuse their aid to do honor to his memory. 

" Having had the honor, in former times, of being received by 
your lordship, and of being present at your brilliant musical enter- 
tainments in Florence and in London, I gladly avail myself of this 
occasion to recall myself to your kind recollection ; and I beg you 
to accept the expression of my devotion and of the great respect 
with which I have the honor to be, 

" My Lord, Your most obedient and humble servant, 

" (Signed) A. W. DE SCHLEGEL. 

" BONN, May 21, 1837." 

Lord Burghersh, taking up the matter with the utmost zeal, 
addressed an appeal to the principal musical institutions of Lon- 
don, which in their turn showed their readiness to promote the 
object in view. 

At H meeting of the professors belonging to the Ancient Con- 
cert, the co-operation of the members of that body was unanimously 
granted ; Mr. Knyvett and Mr. Cramer being deputed to act as iti 


representatives. A like course was adopted by the Philharmonic 
Society, which nominated Sir George Smart and Mr. Moscheles in 
a similar capacity ; Mr. Mori and Sig. Costa were appointed by 
the orchestra of the Italian Opera to express the adherence of 
that body; and Messrs. Potter and C. Lucas, at ihe suggestion 
of Lord Burghersh, on the part of the disposable forces of the 
Royal Academy. Several of the principal English and foreign 
vocalists then in London offered their co-operation with the utmost 
willingness and liberality. Mr. Bunn granted the use of Drury 
Lane Theatre; and on the 19th of July, 1837, under the manage- 
ment of a committee presided over by Lord Burghersh, assisted 
by the Right Hon. the Earl of Cawdor, and the Right Hon. Sir 
Gore Ouseley, Bart., and formed of the members of the musical 
bodies above specified, a grand concert was given, the following 
account of which is extracted from the musical journals of the 

The performance which took place at Drury Lane Theatre on 
Wednesday evening was but thinly attended, owing to a variety 
of causes, among which may be noticed the dissolution of parlia- 
ment and the approaching elections, the lateness of the season, 
and, we fear, the high terms demanded for admission ; namely, 
half-a-guinea the boxes, seven shillings the pit, and five shillings 
the gallery. In a musical point of view, it realized the highest 
expectations that could have been formed of it ; for assuredly it 
was the noblest entertainment of this description that ever was 
given in England. But, considered with respect to its object, it 
has unfortunately been a failure ; the attendance having been too 
small to produce any substantial contribution to the fund. This 
circumstance must have, in some measure, diminished the enjoy- 
ment which the admirers of Beethoven derived from the perform- 
ance of some of his greatest master-pieces. But it did not damp 
the ardor of the performers. They evidently exerted themselves 
con amore; and we have never heard music performed with greater 
care, energy, or effect. 

Nothing could have surpassed the splendor of the orchestra on 
this occasion, which was erected upon the stage ; and the back of it 
was as high as the second tier of boxes. The principal singers 
were arranged in front ; the chorus, consisting of a hundred and 
twelve voices, on each side; the conductor in the centre. The 
band consisted of fifty violins, twelve violas, twelve violoncellos, 
eleven double basses, twenty-five wind instruments, &c. ; making a 
total of a hundred and ten instruments, and a grand total of about 
two hundred and thirty performers. The soli performers wer*> 
Mesdames Schrceder Devrient, Bishop, Knyvett, Birch, Wynu- 
ham ; Messrs. Braham, Bennett, Balfe, Seguin, and H. Phillips. 


The conductors, Sir George Smart, Mr. Moscheles, and Mr. Kny 
vett ; the leaders, Messrs F. Cramer, Loder, and T. Cooke. 

The selection combined : Part I. The Mount of Olives. Part 
II. The Choral Symphony. Part III. Overture Egmont. Canon 
from Fidelio. Concerto in E flat (piano-forte, Mr. Moscheles). 
Grand Scena in E ; and Finale from Fidelio. 

The " Mount of Olives," which formed the first act, was given 
entire for the first time in England. The solo parts were sun^ by 
Mrs. Knyvett, Mrs. Bishop, Miss Birch, Mr. Braham, Mr. Phillips, 
and Mr. Bennett. Braham was in perfect voice, and had his voice 
perfectly under his command. He sang, indeed, so well that the 
principal performers in the orchestra could not refrain from offer- 
ing him their friendly and hearty congratulations. The band was 
led by F. Cramer, and conducted by Sir George Smart. 

Beethoven's great Choral Symphony formed the second act. It 
was admirably performed, and received with immense applause. 
Schroeder sang with a power and truth which only the music and 
a kindred genius could have supported. Mr. Moscheles' per- 
formance of the noble concerto, and his conducting the choral 
symphony, have been already mentioned in these pages. Both 
were beyond commendation. The choralists in " Here sieze him," 
and the " Hallelujah," were very effective ; the former (which is a 
similar movement to the pistol scene in the " Fidelio") was unani- 
mously encored. 

So far the journals. That the pecuniary result of this concert 
should have fallen short of what might be anticipated from such 
a cause and such assistance, must have had its cause in the late- 
ness of the season and the recent death of Bang William the 
Fourth. The clear profits of this concert, together with some 
donations, amounted to only a hundred pounds. No doubt that 
many of Beethoven's admirers in England, who were prevented 
from attending this solemnity, would have taken a pride in hon- 
oring the memory of the great master under more favorable 

As to the proceedings of the committee for the Beethoven 
monument at Bonn, the following particulars may not be uninter- 
esting. The president of the committee, Baron A. W. von 
Schlegel, having relinquished his office, owing to an accumulation 
of private business, Dr. Breidenstein * was elected in his stead. 
The committee have been most successful in their appeal to the 
musical world throughout Europe, so that the expenses of the pro- 
posed monument are now nearly covered. The sums received are 

* This gentleman, who stands in high repute as a professor of music at Bonn, 
has made himself BO meritoriously known as a teacher of harmony and counter- 
point, that the honor of instructing H. R. H. Prince Albert, while al th 
University of Bonn, in that branch of the art, devolved upon him. 


the produce of concerts in more than fifty different towns, the 
receipts of a concert given by those eminent artists Thalberg and 
de Beriot at Bonn, for the same purpose, and the generous dona- 
tion of ten thousand francs from Liszt, who joined the committee 
as an active member. Promises of concerts for the same purpose 
have been received from Vienna, Paris, Brussels, and other places. 

The committee has already issued an address to artists, inviting 
them to send designs for the monument before the 1st of March, 
1841. From among the designs or sketches that shall be received, 
the three best will be selected by competent judges ; and for each 
of them a premium of twenty Frederics-d'or will be paid, upon 
condition that the authors of them, if required, will have models 
made of them, upon a reduced scale, and send them to the com- 

In order to insure perfect impartiality in the selection of the 
designs, the authors are requested to attach a motto to each, and 
to enclose the same motto in an envelope, together with the name 
and the address of the artist. The competition is open to artists 
of all countries. It is necessary to add the following remarks, as 
they may have an influence upon the work itself: 

1. It is decided that the monument, or rather the statue, which 
is to form the most essential part of it, shall be executed, not in 
marble, but in bronze. 

The sum which, at the commencement of next year, we shall 
have at our disposal, amounts to about thirteen thousand dollars, 
Prussian currency; in addition to which, contributions are an- 
nounced, and confidently expected, from several of the most 
important German and European capitals. ED. 

No. XV. 

VIENNA, March 16, 1828. 

The sale of the lamented Beethoven's MSS. and musical library, 
which lately took place here, excited uncommon interest among 
the lovers of music, amateurs as well as professional men. The 
following are the heads under which the articles were arranged in 
the catalogue: 

1. Fragments from Beethoven's musical portfolio, consisting 

* From The Hannonlcon, April, 1838. 


of noted paper, scraps of various themes, &c 2. Fragments 
and sketches in a more complete form. S. Autographs of 
scores already published. 4. Autographs of unpublished music. 
5. Copies of various symphonies, choruses, overtures, masses, 
&c., corrected by the composer's own hand. 6. Printed music 
and theoretical works. 7. A small collection of works of gen- 
eral literature. 8. A small collection of musical instruments. 
The contest for several of the articles was warm and spirited, par- 
ticularly between the well-known music-sellers, Artaria, Haslinger, 
and Steiner. More than forty works, unknown to the public, 
were brought to the hammer, the greater part of which are pro- 
ductions of Beethoven's earlier years. No doubt the present 
possessors will, ere long, afford the world an opportunity of enjoy- 
ing these works of the lamented master. We observed that the 
greater proportion of them became the property of Artaria, after 
a severe contest with his brother publishers : several fetched 
extraordinarily high prices. Besides a great many other articles, 
Beethoven's last work, an unfinished quintette, begun in Novem- 
ber, 1826, fell to the lot of Diabelli, who triumphantly bore it 
away, at a very high price, from a host of competitors. The same 
gentleman also became possessor of a solo-capriccio, of a rondo for 
piano-forte and orchestra, and of the English piano-forte which 
Beethoven had received as a present from the Messrs. Broadwood. 
The gold medal which the composer had the honor to receive from 
Louis XVIIL, on receiving the copy of one of his grand masses, 
was bought by some anonymous collector. But by far the most 
interesting article of the whole sale fell to the lot of M. Haslinger, 
the collection of contrapuntic exercises, essays, and finished 
pieces, which Beethoven wrote while under the tuition of his 
master, the celebrated Albrechtsberger, all in his own hand- 
writing, with the interlineal corrections of that master, and his 
remarks on the margin. It is in five thick volumes, which were 
evidently preserved with great care. The struggle for the pos- 
session of this invaluable relic the fruit of Beethoven's first 
studies was long and spirited ; but the stamina of M. Haslinger 
brought him through. After many a fiercely-contested round, he 
was at length declared the victor, none of his antagonists coming 
to time. We are happy to be able to state that this collection of 
studies,* so interesting to the whole musical world, is immediately 
to be placed in the hands of Kapell-meister Seyfried, who is to 
prepare it for the press. M. Haslinger also became the fortunate 
possessor of a piano-forte trio, consisting of an allegro, adagio, 
finale, and variations, composed while Beethoven filled the place 
of organist in Cologne; of a short sonata for four hands; of sev- 

* This work has indeed been published. ED. 


eral songs and other vocal pieces ; of a small collection entitled 
" Zapfenstreiche f iir Tiirkische Musik ; of two violins, with the 
possessor's seal on each ; and lastly, of Beethoven's copy of 
the works of Handel, Dr. Arnold's edition, in forty volumes folio. 
The latter, as is well known, was presented to the lamented com- 
poser by his friend, M. Stumpff, of London, the possession of 
which tended so much to soothe Beethoven during his last pro- 
tracted illness. The mind and talents of Handel were kindred to 
his own ; and he was seen for hours hanging over these volumes in 
rapture, and forgetting his sufferings. Two other competitors con- 
tended warmly for this prize, M. Glaser of Gotha, and M Schenk, 
the well-known composer of " Der Dorf barbier ; " but M. Has- 
linger still retained his honors as champion of the field.* We 
must, however, observe, that, warm as the opposition was between 
these different opponents, the contest was still conducted with 
becoming respect, not to say with a certain solemnity due to the 
relics of the mighty dead. Some of the prices given astonished 
even the most enthusiastic admirers of the composer, and are the 
most satisfactory proofs of the deep zeal and love for the art pre 
dominant among us. 

* M. Bchindler baa informed us that thin valuable collection was bought by 
Haslinger for a hundred florins, about ten pounds sterling, a price which 
would not seem to bespeak much spirit in the rival bidders ; and the writer of 
the above account of the sale adds, in a note, that the purchaser almost imme- 
diately advertised it for sale in the Leipzig Musical Gazette, price four bondrod 
florins, or forty-five pounds. TRANSLATOR. 







As a star of the first magnitude in the musical firmament shines 
*he name of a man who opened an entirely new path in the do- 
.nain of music, and who, by the magic of his melodies, mightily 
stirred the hearts of his hearers, and drew tears from their eyes. 
This hero, whom nature had gifted with a rich and inexhaustible 
imagination, was LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN. 

He sprang from a musical family. His grandfather, Ludwig van 
Biethoven, who died Dec. 24, 1773, as kapell-meister and bass- 
singer in the service of the Elector of Cologne, Max, Frederick, 
had often in his earlier days appeared acceptably upon a national 
theatre established by his liege. He had particularly distinguished 
himself in the musical play, " L'amore Artigiano," and in the then 
very favorite opera, " The Deserter," by Monsigny. His son, 
John van Beethoven, also devoted himself to music. He held after- 
wards a position in the chapel of the elector, residing at Bonn. 
On the 12th of November. 1767, he married Maria Magdalena 
Kewerich, the daughter of a head cook of the Elector of Treves, 
and widow of the electoral chamberlain, Johann Laym. She was 
born on the 20th of December, 1746, at Ehrenbreitstein, near Co- 
blenz, and died at Bonn on the 17th of July, 1 787. Her husband 
died Dec. 18, 1792. 

The second son by this marriage was the great master of tones 
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN. He was born at Bonn, on the 1 7th 
of December, 1770. His elder brother, Ludwig Maria, had died 
soon after his birth (April 2, 1769). After him, two younger 
brothers saw the light, Caspar Anton Carl, on the 8th of April, 
1774; and Nicolaus Johann, on the 2d of October, 1776. The 

* Prefixed to the Wolfenbttllel edition of Beethoven'* BonatM, and tran 
feted for " Dwlght's Journal of Music " 


former supported himself as a piano-forte teacher : the lattei 
learned the art of an apothecary at Bonn. Both afterwards fol 
lowed their brother Ludwig to Vienna, where he spent the greatest 
part of his life. 

Reliable accounts indicate, as the spot where Beethoven first 
saw the light, the " Graus House," situated in the Bonn-gasse, 
No. 515, the fourth house on the right from the Jew's Lane, 
afterwards owned by Dr. Schildt. Subsequently his parents hired 
a habitation of the baker, Fischer, in the Rhein-gasse, No. 934 ; 
and this house has often been erroneously taken tor Beethoven's 

The scandal here and there circulated about Beethoven's descent 
from the king of Prussia, Frederick William II., scarcely needs a 
refutation ; since neither was that monarch in Bonn before Beetho- 
ren's birth, nor had the mother ever left that city during her 
married life. How Beethoven expressed himself concerning it, 
appears from a letter which he addressed in the latter part of his 
life, Dec. 7, 1826, to an aged friend. " You write me," said Beet- 
hoven, " that I have somewhere been referred to as a natural son 
of the late king of Prussia. I heard of the story a long time ago. 
But I have made it a principle never to write any thing about 
myself, and never to answer any thing that is written about me. I 

fladly leave it to you, therefore, to make known to the world the 
onesty of my parents, and particularly of my mother." 
The edueation of Beethoven was not distinguished. Reading, 
writing, drawing, and a little Latin, he learned at a public school. 
Among the pupils, the one to whomTJeethoven was most deeply at- 
tached was Wurzer, afterwards president of the State Tribunal 
at Coblenz. But little progress was made in his elementary 
studies. Music soon supplanted in him any interest in other oc- 
cupations. Already in his fourth year he knew no greater satis- 
faction than to listen to his father when he was preparing himself 
for a musical performance on the piano. Then Beethoven hastened 
swuy from his playmates, listened with eager attention to the fas- 
cinating tones, and begged his father, when about to end, that he 
would still keep on. His greatest pleasure was when his father 
took him on his lap, and let him with his little fingers accompany 
the melody of a song on the piano. Presently he began to attempt a 
repetition of it all alone. This succeeded so well in his fifth year, 
that his father was induced to give him instruction in music. But 
by this means music was well nigh spoiled for him entirely. Of v en 
did he shed bitter tears over the hard treatment of his not very 
morally refined father, who was somewhat given to drink, and in 
that condition would indulge in an irritability tint knew no hounds. 
This inconsiderate harshness of the father had a still more special 
ground. Hii salary scarcely sufficed for the bare necessities ol 


Ife. In the want of other resources, he cherished the hope of soon 
procuring through his oldest son some aid towards the education 
of the two other sons. 

Better instruction than he owed his father, in such circumstan- 
ces, Beethoven received from a certain Pfciffer, who was music- 
director and oboist, and allerwards kapell-meister, to a Bavarian 
regiment. To this excellent man, who was known as a talented 
composer, Beethoven was indebted for the greatest part of 1m 
musical education. In his later years, he gratefully remembered 
the instructor of his youth, and, when he found him in needy 
circumstances, sent him pecuniary aid from Vienna. 

Still greater progress did Beethoven make in music, when one 
of the most distinguished pianists in Bonn, the court organist and 
chamber-musician, Van der Eden, offered, in consideration of the 
father's straitened circumstances, to instruct the boy gratuitously. 
But Van der Eden's duties were so pressing, that the lessons could 
not be continued as regularly as the teacher, who was much do- 
lighted with his pupil's progress, could have wished. Van der 
Eden received a commission from the Elector Max Franz, whose 
attention had been called to the talent of the boy, to give him 
an hour's instruction daily at the royal expense. In his musical 
development, and especially in the technical handling of the organ, 
Beethoven made such rapid progress, that he often had to let fiim- 
self be heard in the chapel and in the private chambers of the 
elector, and always won applause. Max Franz provided also for 
the further instruction of the boy after Van der Eden's death. 
Beethoven's teacher now was the celebrated composer and court 
organist, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who, after having been for a 
long time music-director in Grossmaim's theatrical company, had 
been appointed to the place vacanted by Van der Eden's death 
in the electoral chapel at Bonn. 

It was of essential advantage for Beethoven's musical culture, 
particularly for his taste, that he was made acquainted, through 
Neefe, with the works of Sebastian Bach, and learned to over- 
coins the difficulties involved in the execution of these composi- 
tions. By this means he acquired an uncommon facility of finger, 
by which his playing was in later years distinguished. In his 
eleventh year, hj already played Sebastian Bach's " Well-tempered 
Clavichord," which consisted of four and twenty preludes and 
fugues in all the keys, with such wonderful facility, that his per- 
formance was compared with that of many a distinguished pianist. 
In his ninth year he had begun to compose. His attempts were 
more successful after Neefe had taught him the rules of composi- 
tion, of which until then he had been entirely ignorant. In hia 
eleventh year, he composed nine variations on a march, three piano 
tonatas, and some songs, among othure the well-known one of 


Claudius, "Wennjemand eineReise thul," &c. He also wrote about 
this time the music to a chivalric ballet produced by the high uo- 
bility in the Carnival season, which for a long time passed for the 
work of a Count von Waldstein, who with the dancing-master 
Habich from Aix, had arranged the ballet in question. 

Beethoven had found an especial patron, who remained not 
without influence on the higher culture of his talent, in the above- 
named Count von Waldstein, who at that time lived at Bonn as 
knight of the (Jermanic Order, and afterwards as commander of 
the order and imperial treasurer at Birnsberg. The count was 
not merely a connoisseur of music : he engaged in it practically. 
It was he who first rightly appreciated Beethoven's talent ; and 
through him was developed in the young artist the gift of varying 
and working out a theme extempore. From him Beethoven re- 
ceived, with the most delicate regard to his sensibility, frequent 
pecuniary aid, which was for the most part considered a donation 
from the elector. With him the count stood in high favor, and 
was almost his inseparable companion. By his mediation, Beet- 
hoven, already in his fifteenth year (1785), was appointed organist 
to the electoral chapel in Bonn, where he alternated with his 
teacher, Neefe, in the discharge of the not heavy duties. The lit- 
tle organ in the then Court Chapel (now Evangelical Church) 
required no great dexterity, nor could such have found sphere in 
an instrument of such limited construction. Neefe was strong and 
healthful, and not prevented by other business from attending to 
his duties. From all this it appears, that Beethoven's appoint- 
ment was simply a kind provision for his support. Beethoven 
always alludes to his patron, the Count, Waldstein, with a feeling 
of the deepest gratitude, which he expressed in his later years by 
dedicating to him his great Sonata in C major (opus 53), one of 
his most celebrated works. 

To the musical instruction which he gave in a few families, 
Beethoven was indebted for an attractive acquaintance, which 
was of the most favorable influence For his social culture. He 
made it in the house of the widow of the electoral counsellor Von 
Breuning. The family consisted of three sons, nearly of Beetho- 
vens's own age, and one daughter. Besides the latter, the youngest 
son also received music-lessons from Beethoven, and was already 
a distinguished piano-player, when, after completing his medical 
studies, in 1 798, he died. The second son, Stephen, afterwards 
imperial counsellor in Vienna, where he died a few months alter 
Beethoven (on the 4th of June, 1827), was his friend of many 
years' standing, devoted to him with the most inviolable constancy. 
The third son, Christopher, received a position in Berlin, as privy 
counsellor of revision and cassation. To the daughter. Eleonore, 
fterwards married to Dr. F. G. Wet>eler, in Coblenz, Beethoven 
dedicated his first Variations for the Piano. 


Throughout his life he retained a friendly recollection of the 
bappy days which he had spent in that family. There, too, he had 
first become acquainted with the German literature, particularly 
with the best poetical productions. In that house reigned, with all 
the impulsiveness of youth, an unconstrained fine tone. Christo- 
pher and Stephen von Breuning tried their hands, not without suc- 
cess, in little poems. The family lived comfortably ; and in their 
social circles there prevailed a conversation which combined the 
useful with the agreeable. From several of the later lettei s of 
Beethoven, it is evident how contented he felt himself in that 
family, where he was soon treated as a child of the house. Not 
only the greatest part of the day, but many a night, he passed 
there. There he felt free and without any restraint. Many things 
conspired to make him cheerful, and to further the development of 
his mind. Especially did the friendly and good-natured lady of 
the house exert a beneficent influence upon the youno; man's 
humors, which occasionally bordered upon stubborn self-will. 

In his above-mentioned capacity as court organist, Beethoven 
first gave accidentally to the orchestra a proof of his talent at a 
solemnity which took place during Passion week in the Catholic 
church. There the Lamentations of Jeremiah, consisting, as it is 
well known, of little sentences of four to five lines, were chanted to 
a definite rhythm as chorales. The tune consisted of four suc- 
cessive tones, for example, c, d, c,f; several words, indeed whole 
sentences, being always sung upon the third, until a few concluding 
words led back into the ground tone. As the organ had to be 
silent during Passion week, the singer was only accompanied ad 
libitum by a pianist. Beethoven, upon whom this office devolved, 
contrived by his modulations in the accompaniment to throw the 
very accurate singer Heller so out of time, that he could not find 
the closing cadence. The Kapell-meister Lucchesi, who was pres- 
ent, was amazed at Beethoven's playing. The latter was com- 
plained of by Heller, in the first ebullition of his rage, to the 
elector, who, although pleased at the youthful waggery of the 
pianist, commanded a more simple accompaniment. 

About this time also Beethoven became chamber musician. 
One day he was playing at sight in a court circle a new trie bj 
Pleyel, together with Franz Hies, the first violinist of the Elec- 
toral Chapel, who died in his native city, Bonn, in 1845, and the 
celebrated Bernhard Romberg, who closed his early career in 
1841, at Hamburg. In the second part of the adagio, the artists, 
\fthey were not together, did not break down : they played bravely 
on, and came out happily together. It was found afterwards that 
iheie had been two bars left out in the piano part. The elector 
wondered very much about this work of Pleyel's, and a week after- 
wards caused it to be repeated, when the mystery was djscovereci 
to the satisfaction of the prince. 


It was on the first return of the famous Joseph Haydn from 
England, in July, 1792 that the elector's orchestra surprised him 
with some music at a breakfast at Godesberg, a summer place of 
resort near Bonn. Beethoven was very happy when a cantata 
of his composition, which he submitted to the great master, at- 
tracted the especial notice of Haydn, who encouraged the com- 
poser to continued studies. The intended performance of thi.- 
cantata afterwards at Mergentheim, where the elector used to re- 
side as grand master of the Germanic Order, fell through, because 
several passages for the wind instruments were so difficult, that 
aeveral musicians declared they could not play them. 

According to the judgment of one of his contemporaries, Beet- 
hoven's piano-playing, for which he was afterwards so celebrated, 
had at that time something rough and hard about it : he had 
never yet heard any excellent pianist, and knew not the fine nuan- 
ces in the treatment of the instrument. Not long afterwards, 
when he had composed his Variations, dedicated to the Countess 
von Hatzfeld, upon " Vieni Amoro," a theme of Rhigini, he fol- 
lowed the electoral orchestra to Aschaffenburg. By Ries and the 
two Rombergs he was presented to the Kapell-meister Sterkel, 
who died in 1817, in his native city, Wiirzburg. By repeated en- 
treaties, this then celebrated master was moved to play upon the 
piano. His performance was very easy and graceful. Beethoven 
stood by him with the most earnest attention. It was now his 
turn to play. He only consented to do so because Sterkel had in- 
timated a doubt whether he himself, as the composer of the above- 
named Variations, could play them readily. Sterkel could not find 
them. But Beethoven played not only those Variations, so much 
as he remembered of them, but also several others, which were not 
less difficult, to the greatest amazement of the listeners, in the 
same graceful manner, by which he had been so much struck in 
Sterkel. He thus gave a proof how easy it was for him to learn 
his manner of piano-playing from another. 

At this time, however different it may have been in later years, 
it cost but little pains to persuade him to a musical performance. 
It only required a friendly invitation. So much the greater was 
his aversion to giving lessons, except those in the Von Breuning 
family. Opposite the house of Madame Von Breuning was the 
hotel of the Austrian ambassador, Count von Westphal. Beet- 
hoven could hardly be induced to continue the often interrupted 
lessons which he had commenced there. Frequently he turned 
hack before the door of the hotel. Then he would promise Ma- 
dame von Breuning, that he would give two hours' instruction on 
the following day, but that day it was impossible. His own rathei 
narrow circumstances did not trouble him ; but he was made anx- 
'ous by the thought of his family, particularly of his mother, 


whom he deeply loved. A similar, if not even stronger aversion, 
to thai, for giving lessons, was felt by Beethoven in his later years 
against invitations to play the piano in company. 

" Then he came to me," relates one of his friends, " gloomy and 
out of tune. He complained of their forcing him to play, even if 
the blood burned under his nails. Gradually a conversation was 
spun out between us, in the course of which I sought in a friendly 
way to entertain and quiet him. That end attained, I let the con- 
versation drop. I seated myself at my writing-desk'; and Beet- 
hoven, if he wanted to speak with me again, had to sit down upon 
the stool before the piano. Presently with a careless hand, often 
while turned awy from the instrument, he would seize a couple 
of chords, out of which, by little and little, the loveliest melodies 
developed themselves. About his playing I must say little or 
nothing, even in passing. Beethoven now went off in an entirely 
changed mood, and always liked to come back again. But that 
repugnance still remained, and frequently became the source for 
him of the greatest misunderstandings with his friends." 

In the year 1792, Beethoven's outward circumstances, which 
never had been easy, shaped themselves more favorably than 
before. The Elector Max Franz, with whom he always stood in 
favor, invited him at his expense to take a journey to Vienna. 
There he was to improve himself still further in music, especially 
in composition, under the tuition of the celebrated Haydn. He 
became more intimately acquainted with Sebastian Bach's 
works, which he had already studied at an earlier period, his 
attention being now again directed to that great master by his 
teacher. At the same time, he diligently studied, with a view to 
the church style, the compositions of Handel. Haydn had formed 
himself upon them both, and therefore thought he could not com- 
mend better models to his pupil, whose progress he remarked with 
satisfaction. Haydn also made him acquainted with the works 
of Mozart, whom he found on his arrival in Vienna no more 
ainongthe living, he having died the year before. Such models 
gave Beethoven's taste that distinguished direction to which he 
remained faithful all his life, thereby winning universal admira- 
tion. The instruction he had been receiving was interrupted in 
1 795, when Haydn made another journej to London. He turned 
his pupil over to the celebrated contrapuntist, Albrechtsberger, 
under whose direction Beethoven studied on industriously. 

To the first part of his stay in Vienna belongs a letter, which 
shows his character from a very amiable side, through the good- 
heartedness with which he openly confessed, and asked pardon for, 
a hasty act of which he had been guilty. This letter, dated 
Vienna, Nov. 2, 1793, was addressed to the friend of his youth, 
Eleonor i von Breuning, afterwards the wife of Dr. Wegeler. ' A 


year has elapsed since my stay in this capital, and this is the first 
letter you receive from me ; yet rest assured you have ever lived 
ia my recollection. I have often conversed with you and yours, 
although not with that peace of mind which I could have desired ; 
for the late wretched altercation was hovering before me, showing 
me my own despicable conduct. But so it was ; and what would 
I not give, could I obliterate from the page of my life this past 
action, so degrading to my character, and so unlike my usual pro- 
ceedings ! It is true, there were many circumstances widening 
the breach between us ; and I presume, that in those whisperings, 
conveying to us our mutual expressions, lay the chief source of 
the growing evil. We both imagined that we spoke from convic- 
tion ; and yet it was but in anger, and we were both of us deceived. 
Your good and noble mind has, I know, long forgiven me ; but 
they say that self-accusation is the surest sign of contrition, and it 
is thus I wanted to stand before you. Now let us draw a veil 
over the whole affair, taking a warning by it, that, should a differ- 
ence arise between friends, they should not have recourse to a 
mediator, but explain face to face." 

This letter was accompanied by some Variations, composed by 
Beethoven, upon the aria, " Se Vuol Ballare," from Mozart's " Fi- 
garo." Beethoven had dedicated them to his friend. " I could only 
wish," wrote he, " that the Work were greater and more worthy of 
you. They importuned me here to publish this little work ; and I 
improved this opportunity to give you a proof of my respect and 
friendship for yourself, and of an ever enduring recollection of 
your house. Accept the trifle, and think, when you look at it, 
that it comes from a friend who respects you very highly. If it 
only gives you pleasure, my wishes are entirely satisfied. Let it 
be a little revival of the time when I spent so many and such 
happy hours in your house. Perhaps this work will keep me in 
your memory until I come again, which, to be sure, will not be so 
soon. How we will enjoy ourselves then ! You will then find a 
happier man in your friend, from whose brow time and his better 
fate have smoothed out the furrows of his past refractory conduct. 
At the close of my letter, I venture one more request. I should 
like again to be so happy as to possess a waistcoat embroidered 
with Angora by your own hand. Pardon your friend this pre- 
sumptuous request. It arose from a great partiality for every 
thing that is from your hands, and confidentially I can tell you, 
vanity lies at the bottom of it, the vanity of being able to say that 
I possess something from one of the best, most estimable maidens 
in Bonn. I still have the first waistcoat, which yon were so kind 
as to present to me in Bonn ; but through the fashion it has 
become so unfashionable, that I can only keep it in my clothes- 
creen as something very dear from you. You would give me 


great pleasure if you would soon rejoice me with a letter. Should 
my letters cause you any satisfaction, I promise so far as "ossible 
to gratify you." 

In relation to the Variations, which accompanied this letter, 
Beethoven said, " They will be somewhat difficult to play, especi- 
ally the trills in the coda. But that need not terrify you. It ia 
so arranged, that you need do nothing but make the trills : the 
other notes you may leave out, since they occur also in the violin 
part. I never would have set any thing so ; but I had frequently 
remarked, that there was here and there some one in Vienna, 
who, when I had been improvising in the evening, would write 
down many of my peculiarities the next day, and make a show 
upon them. Foreseeing that such things would soon appear, I 
determined to anticipate them. Another reason was, to puzzle 
the resident pianists here. Many among them are my deadly 
enemies : and I wanted in this way to revenge myself upon them ; 
since I foresaw, that here and there the Variations would be set 
before them, where the gentlemen would make a poor figure in 
attempting to perform them." 

A letter of Beethoven's, written a few weeks later, described 
the impression made upon him by a gift from the fair friend of 
his youth. "I was exceedingly surprised," he says, "by the 
beautiful necktie, wrought by your hand. Pleasant as the thing 
was in itself, it awoke in me feelings of sadness. Its effect was 
the recollection of former times, and shame on iry part through 
you magnanimous conduct towards me. Really, I iid rot believe 
that you still held me worthy of your thought. Oh ! iould you 
have witnessed my emotions yesterday, you surely could find no 
exaggeration in what I tell you now, that at the thought of you I 
wept and was very sad. I beg you will believe me, little as I may 
deserve faith in your eyes, that I have suffered very much, and do 
still suffer, through the loss of yoar friendship. You and your 
dear mother I shall never forget. You were so kind to me, that 
your loss cannot and will not be so soon replaced to me. I know 
what I have lost, and what you were to me ; but, were I to fill up 
this interval, I should have to go back to scenes which would be 
unpleasant for you to see, and for me to describe. As a slight 
return for your kind memento to me, I make free to send you a 
violin rondo. I have a great deal to do, or I would have written 
off for you the long-promised sonata. In my manuscript, it is 
hardly more than a mere sketch. You can have the rondo copied 
off, and then send me back the score. What I here send you is 
ihe only one among my things which would be useful to you, and 
I thought that possibly this trifle might afford you some pleasure. 
If it is in my power to contribute aught else to your gratification, 
I beg that you will not pass me by. It is the only means now leli 


of testifying to you my gratitude for the friendship I have en- 

In the above letter, Beethoven had spoken of having a great 
deal to do. His tasks were lightened by a young man, with whose 
father he had stood in friendly relations in Bonn. It was Fer- 
dinand Kies, then a youth of sixteen, who died at Frankfort-on- 
the-Main in 1838, a son of the first viohst in the electoral chape'. 
at Bonn, Franz Ries, who closed his earthly career at an advanced 
age in 1845. By thorough instruction, Ferdinand Ries liad become 
a clever pianist, and make remarkable progress in music. With a 
letter of introduction from his father he went to Beethoven, whom 
he found busied about the completion of his oratorio, " Christ on 
the Mount of Olives," which was to be produced for his benefit at 
a concert in the theatre. Beethoven read the letter through, and 
said, " I cannot answer your father now. But write to him, I 
have not forgotten how my mother died. With that he will be 
satisfied." It was only some time later that Ries learned, that his 
father had in every way actively supported the Beethoven family, 
then in needy circumstances. 

In the very first days, Beethoven found that he could use the 
son of his old friend. On the day of the performance of the 
above-named oratorio, Beethoven sent for him at five o'clock in the 
morning. Ries found him still in bed, writing upon single leaves. 
When he asked what it was, Beethoven replied laconically, 
" Trombones 1 " So the trombones were played from those sheets. 
Possibly they had forgotten to copy those parts. But it was more 
probably an after-thought, since Beethoven might have had the 
original sheets, as well as the copied ones. The rehearsal began 
at eight hi the morning. Besides the oratorio, there were also 
performed for the first time a symphony of Beethoven's in D 
major (No. 2) and a piano-forte concerto. It was an extremely 
difficult rehearsal. By half-past two o'clock, all the musicians 
were exhausted and more or less dissatisfied. The Prince Lich- 
nowsky, who was present from the beginning, ordered bread 
and butter, cold meat and wine, brought in great baskets. By 
that means, he re-inspirited the players to rehearse the oratorio 
through once more. It is Beethoven's first work in tlu's kind, said 
the prince : it must be produced in a manner worthy of him. 
The concert began about six o'clock, but was so long that a couple 
of pieces were omitted. 

Beethoven had given the score of the above-named symphony 
in D major, in his own handwriting, to his young friend Ries. 
The latter remarked upon it some years afterwards, " The score 
showed something very striking in the lar ghetto quasi andante. 
Indeed the larghetto was so beautiful, conceived in so pure and 
friendly a spirit, and the carriage of the voices so natural, that 


cue could scarcely imagine any thing had been changed in it. 
The plan, too, was from the beginning the same as in the later 
editions. But in the second violin, almost in the very first lines, 
in many passages a very considerable part of the accompaniment, 
and in some places also in the viola, had been changed ; and yet 
all had been so carefully erased, that I could not with the utmost 
pains find out the original idea. I asked Beethoven about it, and 
he answered dryly, 'It is better so.' " 

Several circumstances conspired to plunge the universally cele- 
brated composer into a sad mood, which often bordered on despon- 
dency. It was not merely the cabals of his rivals, who envied 
him his fame. An essential reason of his melancholy lay in his 
state of health. An obstinate bowel-complaint, of which the first 
traces had already shown themselves in the year 1796, induced a 
train of other disorders for him. among which his increasing hard- 
ness of hearing became an unspeakable torment, imbittering all 
the joys of life. An extended description of his physical suffer- 
ings is contained in a letter to Dr. Wegeler, in Bonn, afterwards 
the husband of his former pupil, Eleonore von Breuning. After 
an eight years' residence in Vienna, on the 29th of June, 1800, 
Beethoven wrote this letter, which may serve as a pure transcript 
of his mode of thinking and of feeling. He opened it with self- 
reproaches on account of his long silence. 

" How much I thank you," says he to his friend, " for thinking 
about me I So little have I deserved, or tried to deserve, from 
you, and yet you are so kind, you let yourself be turned away by 
nothing, not even by my unpardonable neglect, but remain always 
the faithful, sterling friend. That I could ever forget you, you 
who were once so dear to me, oh, do not believe that I There are 
moments when I yearn towards you, nay, when I long to pass some 
time with you. My fatherland, the beautiful country in which I 
first saw die light of the world, is still ever beautiful and clear 
before my eyes, as when I left you ; in short, I shall regard that 
time as one of the happiest events of my life, when I can see you 
again, and greet our father Rhine. When that will be, I cannot 
yet determine. So much I will tell you, that you will see me right 
great. Not greater as an artist, but better and more perfect as a 
man, shall you find me ; and then, should my fortune become some- 
what better in my native land, my art shall exhibit itself cnly for 
the benefit of the poor. O happy moment ! How happy I esteem 
myself, that I can bring thee near, that I can myself create 
thee 1 " 

From the above, it appears, that the very straitened circum- 
stances in which Beethoven lived at Bonn had shaped themselves 
aaore favorably. " You wish to know," he writes to his friend 
Wegeler, "something of my situation : it is not so bad. Witt in 


the last year the Prince Lichnowsky, who, if there have bjen littla 
misunderstandings between us, always was and has remained uiy 
warmest friend, has set apart for me a sure sum of six hundred 
florins, which I can draw so long as I find no suitable position. My 
compositions bring me in a good deal ; and, I can say I have more 
orders than I can satisfy. For every thing I have six or seven 
publishers, and even more if I make a point of it. They no longer 
stipulate with me : I demand, and they pay. You see that is a 
nice thing. I see, for example, a friend in need, and my purse 
does not allow me to help him immediately. I have only to set 
myself to work, and in a short time he is relieved, and then I ain 
more economical than formerly." 

Beethoven's contentedness with his condition, and the cheerful 
mood dependent on it, were, as we have already said, darkened by 
his uncertain state of health, especially by his increased hardness 
of hearing, which ended finally in total deafness. He wrote abou< 
it in the above-mentioned letter, " That envious demon, my pooi 
health, has thrown a bad stone in my way ; to wit, my hearing for 
the past three years has continually grown weaker : and for this 
infirmity the first cause must have been furnished by my abdomi- 
nal troubles, which you know are of long standing, but have here 
become so much worse that I have been constantly afflicted 
with diarrhoea, and a consequent extraordinary weakness. My 
physician, Dr. Frank, wanted to restore tone to my body by 
strengthening medicine, and to my hearing by almond-oil. But 
prosit (much good may it do!). Nothing came of that. My 
hearing became worse and worse, and the other trouble still 
remained. This lasted till last autumn, when I was many times 
in a state of despair. Then one medical asinus prescribed to me 
the cold bath, and a more cautious one the usual lukewarm Dan- 
ube bath. That did wonders : my bowels were better ; my 
deafness remained, or grew still worse. This whiter again it 
went wretchedly with me. I had frightful attacks of colic, and I 
again relapsed into my former condition. And so it remained 
until about four weeks ago, when I went to Dr. Bering of the 
medical staff, because I thought that such a case required at 
once a surgeon : besides, I had always had confidence in him. 
He succeeded in almost entirely checking the violent diarrhoea. He 
ordered me the tepid Danube bath, into which I had to pour each 
tune a little flask of strengthening matters, and gave me no medi- 
cine except four days ago some pills for the stomach and some tea 
for the ear ; and I can now say, I find myself stronger and better. 
Only my ears, they hum and roar all day and night long. I must 
say, I pass my life miserably. For two years, I have avoided 
nearly all society, because it is not possible for me to say to peo- 
pie, I am deaf. Had I any other profession, I might get on better ; 


out, in my profession, it is a dreadful situation. And then my ene- 
mies, whose number is not small, what will they say to it ? 

" To give you an idea of this wonderful deafness, let me tell you 
that I am obliged in the theatre to lean close against the orchestra 
to understand the players. The high tones of instruments and 
roices, when I am any ways off, I do not hear. In conversation, 
it is to be wondered that there are people who never have remarked 
it. As I was often absent-minded, they set it down to that. Fre- 
quently, too, I scarcely hear a person talking in a low voice, - - 
the tones, to be sure, but not the words ; and yet, as soon as one 
screams, it is unendurable to me. Heaven knows what will come 
of it. Bering says, it will certainly become better, if not entirely 
well. Already often have I cursed my existence. Plutarch has 
brought me back to resignation. I will, if possible, defy my fate ; 
although there will be moments of my life when I shall be the 
most unhappy creature on God's earth. I beg you say nothing 
to any one of my condition. Only as a secret do I confide it to 
you. Should my present state continue, I will come next spring 
to you : you can hire me a house in some pleasant place in the 
country, and then I will become a peasant for half a year. Per- 
haps that will effect a change. Resignation ! what a wretched 
resource I and yet that is all that there is left me." 

Of an earlier mentioned friend of his youth, in the time of his 
life in Bonn, Beethoven wrote, " Stephen Breuning is now here 
in Vienna, and we are together almost daily. It does me so much 
good to call up the old feelings again. He has really become 
a good and noble youth, who knows a little, and has his heart, as 
we all have more or less, in the right spot. I have very beautiful 
lodgings now, which look out upon the ramparts, and are of double 
value for my health. I think I shall make it possible to have 
Breuning come to me. Your love of art rejoices me much. Only 
write me how it can be done, and I will send you all my works, 
which now amount to quite a pretty number, which is increasing 
day by day. In return for the portrait of my grandfather, which 
I beg you to send me as soon as possible by the post-wagon, I 
send you here the portrait of his descendant, your ever kind and 
heartily loving Beethoven, which has been published here by 
Artaria, who has often asked me for it. I will write immediately 
to Christoph Breuning, and read him a bit of a lecture on account 
of his peevish humors. I will scream the old friendship right into 
his ear. Never have I forgotten one among you, ye dear and good 
ones, although I have not let you hear from me. But you know 
writing never was my forte. Even my best friends have not for 
/ears long received any letter from me. I live only in my notes, 
and one is scarcely down before another is begun. As I now 
write, I often make three or four things at the same time. Write 


to Hie oltencr now. I will take care that I find time to write to 
you sometimes. One word of Rios, to whom my hearty greeting. 
As regards his son, I will soon write you, although I believe Paris 
is a better place than Vienna for him to make his fortune in. 
Vienna is overrun with people, and even the best merit finds it 
hard to sustain itself. Until the autumn or the winter, I will see 
what I can do for him ; for then everybody hurries back to the city 

Beethoven had found a patron and an active furtherer of his 
talent in the first period of his Vienna life in the Prince Lich- 
nowsky, mentioned in a foregoing letter, who had received him 
into his house, Avhere he had remained till near the year 1800, 
alternating, however, with the country. The prince was a grea* 
friend and connoisseur of music. He played the piano, arid 
studied diligently Beethoven's works, which he performed with 
more or less skill, and sought to prove to the young artist, whose 
attention was often called to the difficulties of his compositions, 
that he had no need to change any thing in his manner of writing. 
Every Friday morning, the prince had music at his house. Besides 
four salaried musicians, Beethoven, too, was present, who willingly 
listened to the remarks of these gentlemen ; as, for instance, once 
when the celebrated violoncellist Kraft suggested to him to mark 
a passage of the third trio of a symphony composed by him with a 
sulla corda G, and, in the second part of this trio, to change the 
4-4 time, with which Beethoven had marked the finale, into 2-4 
time. Beethoven's new compositions were always performed for 
the first time, so far as they were suitable for that, in the house of 
Prince Lichnowsky. Several great musical artists were generally 
present. There, too, was where Beethoven played over to the 
famous Haydn the three -sonatas which he dedicated to him. It 
is related that Beethoven was there one day invited by the Count 
Appony to compose a quartette for a stipulated sum. Thus far he 
nad produced nothing in that form. Repeatedly reminded by his 
friends of this commission, he at length set himself to work. The 
first attempt, however, resulted in a grand violin trio ; the second, 
in a violin quintette. In the house of Prince Lichnowsky, too, a 
Hungarian count once laid before him a difficult composition by 
Bach, in manuscript, which he performed with great readiness at 
sight. A musician by the name of Forster brought him one day 
a quartette, which he had only copied out that morning. In the 
second part of the first movement, the violoncellist got out. Beet- 
hoven stood up ; and, while he kept on playing his part, he sang the 
bass accompaniment. To a friend who expressed his wonder at 
his thorough knowledge, he said, smiling, " So the bass part had 
to be, else the author understood nothing of composition." Where- 
upon the latter remarked, that he had played the presto, which he 


aerer saw before, so fast that it would have been impossible to sea 
the single notes. " That is not necessary," replied Beethoven. 
" If you read rapidly, a multitude of misprints may occur : you df 
not see nor heed them, if you only know the language." 

So far Beethoven had progressed in his musical culture, through 
the fundamental instruction which, as before mentioned, he owed 
to the contrapuntist Albrechtsberger, and to Haydn, after the 
return of that great master from England. His fame as a com- 
poser had been established in a few years through a succe 5sion of 
works, which did equal honor to the teachers and the scho'. ar. To 
Vienna, which had been so far to his mind, he found him;;elf lied 
forever, after the death of the Elector Max Franz in 1801. He 
could not count with certainty on a support in his native city 
Bonn, even if he had longed to go there. He had no need to be 
anxious about the means of subsistence. He had acquired so 
considerable a fame as a composer that he could sell his composi- 
tions to the music-dealers at high prices. 

Beethoven loved best to compose in the open air, in the midst 
of nature, which had always from his boyhood had great charm for 
him. There he could give himself up undisturbed to his ideas. 
He fixed them upon paper at once, and went on working upon 
them by the way and after his return home. We have befor 
intimated that he was quite as great a pianist as he was composer. 
His virtuosity in the overcoming of great difficulties was wonder- 
ful. His most splendid exhibition of himself was in free fantasias. 
His musical delivery, if not always equally tender, was yet always 
brilliant. There he possessed an uncommon facility, not only in 
varying a given theme with the fingers, but in really working it 
up. In this respect, he came the nearest to Mozart, perhaps, of 
ill the modern musicians. 

With his rich earnings, at this time, he might (which was not 
alway* the case) have lived free from care. Brought up in strait- 
ened circumstances, and constantly kept, if only by his friends, 
under a sort of guardianship, Beethoven\.never knew the worth of 
money, and was any thing but economical. Of this he gave a 
proof wliile he still lived in the house of Prince Lichnowsky. The 
dinner-table was set at four o'clock. Beethoven held it an infringe- 
ment of his liberty, a burthensome constraint, against which hi' 
nature rebelled, to appear there at that time. " There, I must be 
at home every day at half-past three," said he to a friend ; " dress 
myself better, attend to my beard, &c., &c. It's more than I can 
bear." The rusult was, that he often went to a restaurant, where, 
as in all economical matters, he fared badly, since he neilhei 
understood the value of the articles nor that of money. 

Th *, peculiar sensitiveness of his character was hi striking con- 
ira*t with his ideal liberality, by which he often precipitated 


himself into all sorts of cares and quandaries. This led him into 
manifold misunderstandings with his patron, Prince Lichnowsky, 
so long as he was an inmate of his house, and with other friends ; 
although they were for the most part soon healed over. When the 
first ebullition of rage was past, he lent a willing ear to rational 
suggestions, and his heart was speedily inclined again to reconcili- 
ation. The consequence was, that in such times he begged pardon 
for far more wrong than he had done. One day he wrote as fol- 
lows to a friend living in the same city with him, " In what a 
hideous light you have shown me to myself. Oh, I see it 1 I do not 
deserve your friendship. It was no consciously premeditated 
wickedness in me which made me treat you so : it was my 
unpardonable thoughtlessness." Beethoven closed the somewhat 
lengthy letter, full of the bitterest self-reproaches, with the words, 
" But no more. I will come to you myself, and throw myself into 
/our arms, and beg for the lost friend ; and you will give yourself 
back to me, the repentant, loving thee, never forgetting thee, 

This irritability was partly a consequence of the gloomy humor 
into which he was brought by the weaker and weaker condition of 
his health. He had been obliged, in obedience to medical advice, 
to submit to the application of the bark of Daphne mezereum. 
About this and his physical sufferings, as well as about the 
remedies which had proved so fruitless, he speaks particularly 
in a letter written at Vienna, on the 16th of November, 1801, to 
his friend Wegeler. 

" You wish to know how I am, and what I take. Little as I like 
to talk about the matter, I most gladly do so with you. Bering 
for some months past has ordered blisters continually applied to 
both arms, consisting, as you know, of a certain bark. This is 
an extremely disagreeable cure, since it robs me always of the free 
use of my arms for a couple of days, until the bark has Jlrawn 
sufficiently, not to speak of the pain. It is true, I cannot deny it, 
the humming and roaring is somewhat weaker than formerly, 
especially in the left ear, with which my difficulty first commenced. 
But my hearing is not at all improved : I dare not determine 
whether it has not rather become worse. With my abdomen it 
goes better ; especially when I use the lukewarm bath for some 
days, I find myself for eight or ten days tolerably well. I seldom 
take any thing strengthening tor the stomach. Of plunge-baths 
Bering will not hear. On the whole, I am very much dissatisfied 
with him. He has too little care and consideration for such an 
infirmity. If I had not first gone to him, and that, too, with much 
difficulty, I would never see him. What think you of Prof. 
Schmidt ? I do not like to change ; but it seems to me Bering is 
too much a man of practical routine to get hold of many new ideal 


through reading. Schmidt seems to me, in this regard, a wholly 
different man, and perhaps would not be so careless. They relate 
wonders of galvanism. What do you say to that ? A physician 
told me he had seen a deaf and dumb child restored to hearing in 
Berlin, and also a man who had been deaf for seven years." 

Only for moments did a more tranquil mood return to him, soon 
snatched from him by a glance into a comfortless future. Weaker 
and weaker grew the hope in him of ever finding a complete 
relief, and he saw many of his darling plans thus thwarted. In 
this mood he wrote in the letter just referred to, "I am living 
somewhat more pleasantly again. You can scarcely believe how 
drearily, how sadly, I have passed my life these last two years. 
Everywhere my weak hearing haunts me like a spectre. I fled 
from men ; had to appear a misanthrope ; and am, in fact, so little 
so. This change has been brought about by a dear, enchanting 
maiden whom I love, and who loves me. For the first time these 
two years, I have again some happy moments ; and it is the first 
time that I could feel marriage could make me happy. That can- 
not be at present. I must tumble about still farther in the world. 
Were it not for my hearing, I should long since have travelled 
over half the world ; and that I must do. For me there is no 
greater satisfaction than to pursue and show my art. Do not 
believe that I should be happy with you in Bonn. What should 
make me happier ? Even your solicitude would sadden me : every 
moment I should read the sympathy upon your faces, and should 
only feel myself the more unhappy. Those beautiful scenes of my 
fatherland, what was vouchsafed to me in them ? Nothing but the 
hope of a better condition. It would be mine but for this calamity. 
Oh, I would embrace the world were I but free from this ! My 
youth, I feel it, but begins from now. Was I not always a dried- 
up man ? My corporeal strength, tor some time since, grows more 
than ever, and so, too, my spiritual energies. Every day I attain 
nearer to the goal, which I feel, but cannot describe. Only in this 
can thy Beethoven live. Not a word about rest ! I know of none 
but sleep, and it vexes me enough that I must give more to that 
than formerly. Give me but half delivery from my trouble; and 
then, as the completed, ripe man, I will corne to you, and renew 
the old feeling of friendship. You must see me happy, as it is 
allotted me to be here below, and not unhappy. No : that I could 
not endure. I will clutch hold 'of the wheel of Fate: surely it 
shall never bow me down entirely. Oh, it is so beautiful to live 
one's life a thousand times ! I feel I am not made for a still life." 
Almost equally as by his own condition was he troubled about 
the welfare of his early friend, Stephen von Breuning, living u< 
Vienna. " The life here," he wrote, " involves too many fatiguei 
for his health. Besides, he leads such an isolated life that I really 


do not see how he could improve. You know how it is here. 1 
will not say that society would impair his relaxation. One cannot 
persuade him to go anywhere. I had music at my rooms a shorl 
time since ; but our friend Stephen staid away." In that Beet- 
hoven found all the more proof of his friend's melancholy ; since 
Stephen von Breuning was an amateur, who had made himself an 
excellent violinist, and had sometimes played in the electoral 
chapel at Bonn. He seldom enjoyed uninterrupted contentment ; 
owing doubtless, in a great degree, to his active labors, which he 
kept up incessantly until his death, in June, 1827. 

In singular contrast with his suffering condition was the humor 
which prevailed in some of Beethoven's letters in the first part of 
hia life in Vienna. These letters were addressed to the Kapell- 
meister Hofmeister, in Leipzig, who at that time (1800), under the 
firm, " Hofmeister & Kiihnel, Bureau de Musique," had commenced 
a correspondence with Beethoven. This correspondence adds an 
interesting contribution to the characteristics of Beethoven, who at 
that time, fired with restless activity, stood in the full bloom of hi? 
creative genius. 

In a letter to Hofmeister, dated Dec. 15, 1800, Beethoven ex 
cused his delay in answering : " I am," wrote he, " extremely laz) 
as a correspondent : it takes a long time before I can bring my- 
self to writing dry letters instead of notes. But now I have at 
length compelled myself to give you satisfaction. Pro prime, you 
must know, it pains me very much that you, my dear brother in 
musical art, did not inform me earlier, so that I might have of- 
fered you my quartettes, as well as many other things, which I 
have now disposed of; and if my brother is as conscientious as 
many other honorable engravers (in German, Stecher. or prickers), 
who prick us poor composers to death, he would know how to find 
his account in publishing them. I will briefly state what the Herr 
Bruder may obtain of me. 1. A Septette per il Violino, Viola, Vio- 
loncello, Contrdbasso, Clarinetto, Corno, Fagotto tutti obligati ; for 
I can write nothing that is not obligato, inasmuch as I came into 
the world with an obligato accompaniment. 2. Grand Symphony 
for full orchestra. 3. A Concerto for the piano, which to be sure 
I do not give out as one of my best, since I keep the best for my- 
self until I make a journey. Yet it can do you no discredit to en- 
grave this concerto. 4. A Grand Solo Sonata. This is all that I 
can produce at present. A little later you can have a quintette 
for string instruments, and perhaps some quartettes and other 
things, which I have not by me now. In your answer, you can 
yourself fix the price; and since you are neither Jew nor Italian, 
aor I either, we shall readily agree." 

Four weeks later, Jan. 15, 1801. Beethoven wrote to Hofmeis- 
ler, " Right heartily 1 thank you for the good opinion which you 


have conceived of me and of my works, and I often wish I could 
deserve it. I rejoice in your undertakings ; and I wish, if art can 
be the gainer, that this gain might rather accrue to the genuine, 
true artists, than to mere traders in the art. Your design of pub- 
lishing Sebastian Bach's works is something that really does my 
heart good, which beats entirely for the high, great art of this 
great father of harmony. I hope, as soon as we shall hear the 
golden peace announced, to contribute to the undertaking much 
from here myself, if you take subscribers." 

Beethoven's character shows an amiablt ride in this letter, 
through its disinterestedness. " As regards your own private 
business," he writes, " I make you, since you desire it, the follow- 
ing offers : For the septette, twenty ducats ; the symphony, the 
same ; the concerto, ten ducats ; grand solo, sonata, allegro, ada- 
gio, minuetto, rondo, twenty ducats : this sonata has washed itself 
(is comme il faut), my dear brother. You will wonder, perhaps, 
that I make no difference here between the sonata, septette, and 
symphony. Because I find that a septette or a symphony has not 
so much sale as a sonata : therefore I do this, although a sympho- 
ny should unquestionably be worth more. I set the concerto down 
at only ten ducats, because, as I have already written, I do not 
consider it as one of my best. I do not think that this will seem 
exorbitant to you, taking the whole together. At least, I have 
tried to put the prices as moderate as possible to you. The whole 
sum would be seventy ducats for all my works. I understand no 
other currency but the Vienna ducats : how many thalers of your 
money that will make I know not, since I am a wretched negotiant 
and accountant. If the sour business were only settled 1 I call it 
so, because I wish it might be different in the world. There 
ought to be a magazine of art, where the artist would only have to 
hand in his works of art, to take what he needs. But as it is, one 
has to be half merchant, and how ill at home one feels in it ! Good 
God ! that is what I call sour." 

In a letter to Hofmeister, 22d April, 1801, Beethoven excused 
his long silence on the ground of his sickness and his excess of 
business. He writes, ' It was scarcely possible even to think 
what I had to send to you. It is perhaps the only genius-like 
thing about me, that my things are not always in the best order ; 
yet no one but myself can help the matter. Thus, for instance, in 
the score of the concerto, the piano part, according to my custom, 
was not written ; and I have but just now written it out, so thai 
you have it in my own, not indeed very legible handwriting." 

In this same letter he wrote, " The arrangement of the Mozart 
sonata as a quartette will do you honor, and will certainly remu- 
nerate. I could wish that I were able to contribute mere myself 
en such occasions here ; but I am an irregular man, and with tin 


best will I forget every thing. But I have here and there spoken 
of it, and find the best inclination towards it. It would be a nice 
thing, if the Herr Bruder, besides publishing the septette, would 
also arrange the same for flute, for example, as quintette. That 
would help the flute amateurs, who have already assailed me on 
the subject ; and they would swarm around it, and feed on it like 

insects. F has presented us with a production, which does 

not correspond with the ideas the newspapers gave us of him. He 
seems to have made Casperle* his ideal, but without reaching him. 
Fine prospects these, under which we poor children of men here 
have to grow up ! " 

In a later letter, June, 1801, Beethoven, not without feeling, vin- 
dicated himself against a groundless accusation, which had cast an 
ambiguous light upon his thoroughly upright character. ''I am 
a little astonished," he writes to Hofmeister, " at the message you 
have sent me through your business agent here. I might almost 
feel offended that you hold me capable of such a shabby trick. It 
would be another thing, if I had only sold my works to money- 
makingtraders, and had then made secretly another good specula- 
tion. But, between artist and artist, it is rather severe to impute 
such a thing to me. The whole thing seems to me either entirely 
an invention, to try me, or else a mere suspicioa. At all events, I 
hereby inform you, that, before you had the septette of me, I sent 
it to Herr Salomon, in London, to play at his concert, purely out 
of friendship, cautioning him at the same time not to let it go into 
other hands, because I intended to have it printed in Germany : 
you can ask Salomon himself, if you think it necessary. But to 
give you one more proof of my integrity, I hereby assure you that 
I have sold the septette, the concerto, the symphony, and the so- 
nata, to no one in the world but you, and that you can formally 
regard them as your own exclusive property, for which I pledge 
my honor. You can make use of this assurance in any way you 
will. Moreover, I believe Salomon was as little capable of the 
shabby trick of getting the septette printed, as I was of selling it 
to him. I am so conscientious, that I have refused to several pub- 
lishers the piano arrangement of the septette, for which you had 
asked me. I have also written to Salomon. But since I esteem 
your charge a mere report, which you caught up a little too credu- 
lously, I cannot close this letter otherwise than with some coldness 
towards so credulous a fi-iend." 

A humorous letter was received by the friend, with whom Beet- 
tiovea was soon reconciled, on the 8th November, 1802. " Does 
the Devil ride you altogether ? " wrote Beethoven. " To propose 
to UK- to mak, such a sonata I In the time of the revolutionary 


Tever that might have been something ! But now, whei. every 
thing seeks to shove itself upon the track again, when Bonaparte 
has concluded the Concordat with the Pope, such a sonata now 1 
If it were a Missa pro Sancta Maria, a ire voce, or a vesper, &c., 
why, then I would take at once my pencil in hand, and, with great 
pound notes, write away at a Credo in unum. But, good God 1 
such a sonata in these newly commencing Christian times 1 Ho 1 
ho! There, let me off': there can nothing come of itl Now for 
my answer in the quickest tempo ! The lady can have a sonata 
of me; also in an aesthetic regard in general I will follow her plan. 
For the price of five ducats, she can keep the same for herself, for 
her own enjoyment, and neither she nor I shall publish the sonata. 
After the expiration of a year, it becomes mine again; that is, I 
can and shall publish it, and the lady can, if she thinks she can 
find any honor in it, be asked to let me dedicate the work to her. 
How gladly would I give many things away ! But only consider, 
friend, every thing about me here is established, and knows pre- 
cisely what it lives upon. But, good God 1 where will one estab- 
lish such a parvum talentum com ego at the imperial court ? " 

The humor which prevails in this letter of Beethoven gave way 
again not seldom to a high degree of irritability, which had its 
chief ground in his oft-returning physical sufferings. It was about 
this time (1802), that he had completed, at Heiligenstadt, a vil- 
lage a mile and a half out of Vienna, his third symphony, known 
under the title of " Sinfonia Eroica." He often in his composi- 
tions thought of a definite object, although he used to laugh and 
scold about musical painting, especially the minuter sort. Even 
acknowledged masterpieces, such as Haydn's " Creation," and his 
; ' Seasons," were not spared in his censure ; while at the same 
time he did not deny the great talent of Haydn, and gave him the 
deserved praise in his choruses. In the third symphony, he had 
in mind Bonaparte, while he was yet First Consul. He had an 
excellent idea of him then, and compared him with the greatest 
Roman consuls. The symphony lay written out in score upon his 
table. At the top of the title-page stood the word "Bonaparte," 
and, at the bottom, " Luigi van Beethoven" but not a word more. 
Whether the intervening space was to have been filled out, and 
how, was quite unknown to Beethoven's friends. One of them 
brought him the news that Bonaparte had allowed himself to be 
proclaimed emperor. Then Beethoven became furious, and ex- 
claimed, " Is he, too, nothing but an ordinary man ? Now he, too, 
will trample all human rights under his feet, and be the slave of hia 
ambition : he will seek now to place himself higher than all others, 
and will become a tyrant." With these words, Beethoven seizec 
the title-leaf of his symphony, which lay upon the table, tore it 
asunder, and threw it on the floor. The first page was re-written 


and received the title, " Sinfonia Eroica." Some time afterward*, 
the Prince Lichnowsky, in Vienna, bought this symphony of the 
composer, for his own use for some years. It was performed sev- 
eral times in his palace. It was there that Beethoven, who him- 
self directed, once in the second part of the first allegro, where 
there occur so many half notes, brought the whole orchestra so 
out of time, that they were obliged to commence the symphony 

On the same evening, Beethoven played a piano quintette, com- 
[osed by him, with accompaniment of wind instruments. The 
celebrated oboist, Ram, from Munich, took part in it, and accom- 
panied Beethoven's playing. In the last allegro, at a pause before 
the theme commenced again, he took it into his head suddenly to 
improvise. He took the rondo tor a theme, and entertained him- 
self and the listeners for a considerable time. But not so those 
who accompanied the piano-playing. They were in great perplex- 
ity. It was a ludicrous sight, when they, expecting every moment 
that he would begin again, put their instruments to their mouths. 
and then quietly took them away again. At length Beethoven 
was satisfied. He fell into the rondo again. The whole company 
were in raptures. 

When the Russian imperial kapell-meister, Steibelt, who died at 
St. Petersburg in 1823, came after a somewhat lengthy stay in 
Paris to Vienna, Beethoven's friends were anxious lest that then 
highly-celebrated composer might damage the reputation he had 
acquired. Steibelt did not visit him. They met for the first time' 
one evening at the house of Count Fries, where Beethoven pro- 
duced a new trio in B flat major, for piano, clarinet, and violon- 
cello. Steibelt listened to it with a sort of condescension, and paid 
the composer a few compliments. Thereupon he played a quin- 
tette of his own composition, improvised, and produced particu- 
larly a great effect by his tremulandos, which at that time were 
something quite new. Beethoven could no longer be induced to 
play. With equal success, Steibelt, a week later, performed a quin- 
tette in a concert at Count Fries's. He had studied out a brilliant 
fantasia, and had chosen for a theme Beethoven's trio. That ex- 
cited his admirers and himself. He had now to go to the piano, 
and to improvise. As he passed along, he took with him the vio- 
loncello part of Steibelt's quartette, placed it bottom upwards on 
the desk, and with one finger drummed out a theme for himself 
from the first bars. Wounded and excited, he improvised so, that 
Steibelt, before he had ended, left the hall, and would never meet 
him afterwards; indeed, he made it a condition, before going any- 
where, that Beethoven should not be invited. 

Nothing crossed Beethoven more, than to have something go 
wrong in the performance of his works. Then he gave himself up 


io an irritability that knew no bounds. In a grand concert n the 
theatre at Vienna, where, besides his " Pastoral Symphony," a fan- 
tasia of his for piano, orchestra, and chorus, was performed, thf 
clarinetist in the variations of the concluding theine made, by mis 
take, a repetition of eight bars. Beethoven sprang up in a rage, 
and covered the members of the orchestra with loud invectives. 
Finally he cried out, " From the beginning ! " The theme began 
again. They all fell in rightly, and the result was brilliant. But, 
when the concert was over, the artists remembered the honorable 
titles which Beethoven had given them, and swore that they would 
never play again, if he was in the orchestra. But this lasted only 
until he again came forward with a new composition, when the 
curiosity of the musicians got the better of their anger. 

How easily offended Beethoven was, was shown by his relations 
to a man to whom he owed a great part of his musical education. 
Mozart, Handel, and Bach were bis favorites. If any thing lay 
upon his desk, it was sure to be compositions of one of these mas- 
hers. On the contrary, he had always something to object to 
Haydn's music. It was for the most part a private grudge against 
that artist, dating from an earlier period. Beethoven's first at- 
tempt in composition was the three trios before mentioned. The) 
.vere to have been produced in a soiree at Prince Lichnowsky's, 
and several artists and dilettanti had been invited, among them 
Haydn, on whose judgment all depended. The trios were played. 
;ind produced a remarkable sensation. Haydn said some flattering 
tilings to the composer, but advised him not to publish the third 
Irio in C minor. Beethoven had regarded this trio as his best. 
Haydn's words, therefore, made a very unpleasant impression on 
'aim. He thought that Haydn was envious, and jealous of his 
reputation, and that he was not candid with him. In this he was 
mistaken. Haydn had dissuaded him from the publication of thi.- 
trio merely because he thought it was not so easy, and would not 
be so quickly understood, as the others. 

In spite of all the representations of his friends, Beethoven wa* 
to unalterable in his dislike to Haydn, that he one day said he haii 
learned nothing from him. From Albrechtsberger, as we ha^o 
before said, he had received instruction in counterpoint, and from 
Salieri in dramatic composition. Both agreed that he was often 
wilful and ill-humored. They maintained that he had had to learn 
many things through his own bitter experience, which he had for- 
merly held of small account as matters of instruction. The intro- 
duction to dramatic composition, which Salieri gave him, after the 
taste of the Italian school, could not of course satisfy him. 

The fame which Beethoven had already acquired did not betray 
him into vanity or an exaggerated seli'-esteeni. The experience 
fci' many years had taught him, that with the multitude the inert 


name is sufficient for them to find every thing in a work beautiful 
and excellent, or mediocre and poor. It chanced one evening, at 
Count Browne's, in Baden, near Vienna, that Beethoven's pupil, 
Ferdinand Ries, who had been recommended to the count as a 
pianist, and who usually performed his master's compositions to 
him in the evening, played a march that just then occurred to 
aim. The circle at the count's consisted of outright enthusiastic 
admirers of Beethoven. An old countess, whose devout adhe- 
rence had become annoying to the composer, went into raptures at 
that march. She supposed it something new by Beethoven, and 
llies waggishly confessed it. Unfortunately, the next day Beet- 
hoven himself came to Baden. He had scarcely stepped into the 
count's saloon, when the old lady began to speak of the exceed- 
ingly ingenious and splendid march. Ries was in no little of a 
. quandary. He knew that Beethoven could not endure the old 
countess. So he drew him rapidly aside, and whispered to him 
that he had merely amused himself with her silliness. Beethoven 
took it well ; but the embarrassment of the pupil increased when 
he was obliged to repeat the march, which this time turned out 
much worse, since Beethoven stood beside him. The latter was 
overwhelmed with praises, to which he listened in confusion and 
with inward rage. " You see, dear Ries," said he to his young 
friend afterwards, " these are the great connoisseurs, who judge 
every sort of music so correctly and so sharply. Only give them 
the name of their favorite : that's all they need." 

It was not always that Beethoven's excitable nature had such 
self-control. Soon afterwards he played with Ries a sonata for 
four hands, composed by him. During the performance, the young 
Count P. talked so loud with a young lady in the doorway of 
the anteroom, that Beethoven, after several fruitless efforts to 
obtain silence, suddenly, hi the midst of their playing, pulled away 
his pupil's hands from the piano, sprang up quickly, and in a loud 
voice said, " I do not play for such swine ! " All attempts to 
bring him back to the piano were in vain. He would not even 
permit llies to go on with the sonata. The consequence was, that 
the music was resolved into a general chagrin. 

In the opposite mood, Beethoven took a slight reproof of hia 
own musical performance for just what it was, a harmless joke, 
conscious, as teacher, of having committed a like fault with his 
scholar. " One evening," Ries related, " I had to play at Count 
Browne's a sonata of Beethoven. It was the Sonata in A minor. 
As Beethoven was present, and I had never practised that sonata 
with him, I begged that I might play any other, but not that one. 
They turned to Beethoven, who finally said, ' Come, you surely 
will not play it so badly that I cannot listen to it.' So I had to 
submit. Beethoven, as usual, turned the leaves. At a leap with 


the left hand, where one note should be made cjite promirent. 1 
came full on the neighbor note. Beethoven tapped me with one 
finger on the head, which the Princess Lichnowsky, who sat op- 
posite me leaning upon the piano, remarked and smiled. After 
the playing was over, Beethoven said, ' Right bravely done 1 You 
have no need first to learn the sonata with me. The finger was 
merely to show you my attention.' Afterwaids Beethoven bad to 
play. He chose is D minor Sonata, which had then just appeared. 
The princess may have expected that Beethoven might make 
some mistake. She placed herself behind his stocl, and I turned 
the leaves. At the 53d and 54th bars, Beetho.en missed the 
beginning ; and, instead of going down with two and two notes, he 
struck every quarter with the full hand, three or four notes at 
once, descending. It sounded as it' the key-board were being 
dusted. The Princess Lichnowsky gave him some not very soft 
blows on the head, with the remark, that, " If the pupil gets a 
finger for one false note, then the master, who commits greater 
blunders, must be punished with full hands." They all laughed, 
especially Beethoven. He began anew, and played with wonder- 
ful beauty. The adagio, especially, he rendered in an inimitable 

Ries ascribed the cai-efulness and patience which Beethoven 
showed in his instruction to his love for his father, with whom 
Beethoven had stood in the friendliest relations formerly at Bonn. 
He had to repeat many things ten niiles over, and oftener. If it 
happened that he missed aught in a passage, or that he struck 
certain notes wiong, which Beethoven wanted to have made quite 
prominent, he seldom said a word. But he was stirred up if his 
pupil missed the expression in a crescendo, for instance, and 
thereby perverted the character of the whole piece. The first, 
he would say. was more accident, but the other betrayed want of 
knowledge, of feeling, or attention. 

His hardness of hearing, before mentioned, gave him a high 
decree of sensitiveness. This affliction, although suspended for 
some time, always returned again. Those about him had to be 
very careful not to make him sensible of this infirmity by talk- 
ing loud to him. If he did not understand any thing, he com- 
monly put it off upon absent-mindedness, from which he was not 
IVee. How much his hearing had diminished, was shown io 
1802, during a walk in the country. His companion, Ries, called 
his attention to a shepherd, who played quite prettily in the wood? 
upon a flute carved out of elder-wood. For half an hour, Beet- 
hoven could hear nothing. But notwithstanding Ries assured 
him that he, too, heard nothing more (which was not the case), 
Beethoven sank into a melancholy mood. He grew monosyllabic, 
and stared straight before him with a gloomy look. On the wajr 


home, he kept on muttering to himself, emitting inarticulate 
sounds, without singing any definite notes. There bad occurred 
to him, he said, a theme for the last allegro of one of his sonatas. 
When he had entered his chamber with his companion, he ran 
with his hat on his head to the piano, and busied himself for 
almost an hour with the finale of his Sonata in F minor. When 
he rose from the piano, he was surprised to see his young friend 
still there, who had seated himself the mean while in a corner of 
the room. Beethoven said to him shortly, " I can give you no 
lesson to-day : I must still work." 

The comfortless condition in which Beethoven found himself 
placed by his deafness is described by one of his earliest friends, 
Stephen von Breuning, in a letter dated 13th of November, 1806, 
to Dr. Wegeler, in Coblentz. " You cannot believe," he write?, 
" what an indescribable, I might say terrible impression, the decay 
of his hearing has produced on Beethoven. Imagine what the 
feeling of unhappiness must be, with his earnest character ; to 
which add reserve, mistrust, frequently towards his best friends, 
in many things irresolution. For the most part, with but few 
exceptions, where his original feeling expresses itself quite freely, 
_ntercourse with him is an actual exertion, since one never can 
abandon himself. From May to the beginning of this month we 
have lived in the same house, and during the first days I took him 
into my room. He was scarcely with me, when he fell into a 
severe illness, almost dangerous, which passed at length into an 
obstinate intermittent fever. Care and nursing have debilitated 
me considerably. He is now well again. He lives upon the 
ramparts, I in a house newly built by Prince Esterhazy before the 
Alster Cazerne ; and, as I manage my own housekeeping, Beet- 
hoven eats every day with me." 

Some years before, in July, 1804, Beethoven had had a falling- 
out with this friend of his youth, which threatened a complete 
rupture of their relations. The immediate occasion of this violent 
altercation between them was, that Stephen von Breuning had 
delayed or omitted the usual notice to quit from Beethoven's 
former lodgings in the theatre-building upon the Wieden. Breun- 
ing, a hot-head like Beethoven, was the more provoked at hi < 
conduct, since it had not been all among themselves. Beethoven 
wrote to his pupil, Ries, in the beginning of July, 1804, " Since 
Breuning has not scrupled to represent my character to you, by 
his behavior, in such a light that I appear a wretched, pit iable, 
small man, I must select you to bear my answer to him orally, but 
only to the first point of his letter, which T answer simply to 
vindicate my character with you. Tell him, then, that I never 
thought of reproaching him for delay of the notice, and that, had 
it really been Breuning's fault, every harmonious relation in the 


was- far too dear to me, to suffer me for a few hundreds, or 
even more, to inflict mortifications upon one of my friends. You 
know yourself, that I have charged you jokingly with the fault of 
the quit-notice having arrived too late through you. I am sure 
you will remember this : on my part, the whole matter was for- 
gotten. And then my brother began at the table, and said that 
he believed that it was Breuning's i'ault. 1 denied it on the spot, 
and said, ' It was your fault.' That, I think, was clear enough, 
that I did not impute the fault to Breuning. But he sprang up 
like a mad man, and said he would call up the master of the 
house. This to me unusual conduct, before all the men with whom 
I associate, quite discomposed me. I, too, sprung up, upset my 
chair, went off and did not return. This behavior moved Breun- 
ing to place me in such a beautiful light with you and the keeper 
of the house, and to send me a letter, which I answered only by 
silence. To Breuning I have no more to say. His mode of 
thinking and of action in regard to mine shows that a friendly 
relation never should have been' formed between us, and certainly 
cannot continue " 

A similar mood prevails in a later letter of Beethoven's to Ries, 
written July 24, 1804, at Baden, near Vienna. This letter con- 
tributes essentially to an understanding of his friend's and of his 
own character. Here Beethoven frankly confesses his own weak- 
nesses, but does not acquit his friend entirely of all faults. In 
relation to the affair just mentioned he wrote to Ries, " Believe 
me, my flying into a passion was only an outbreak of many past 
unpleasant occurrences. I bave the faculty of concealing and 
repressing my sensibility in a great many matters ; but, if I happen 
to get excited at the time when I am more susceptible to anger, I 
explode more vehemently than anybody else. Breuning has cer- 
tainly very excellent peculiarities ; but he thinks himself free from 
all faults, and for the most part has those in the strongest degree 
which he believes he finds in other men. He has a spirit of 
littleness, which I have despised from childhood. My judgment 
almost prophesied the turn things have taken with Breuning, 
since our ways of thinking, acting, and feeling were too different. 
But I had believed that even these difficulties might be overcome. 
Experience has convinced me of the contrary. And now no 
friendship more ! I have had but two friends in the world with 
whom I never had a misunderstanding ; but what men ! One is 
dead, the other lives yet. Although for six long years we neither 
of us have known any thing of the other, yet I know that I hold 
in his heart the first place, as he does in mine. The ground of 
friendship is the greatest similarity in the souls and hearts of men. 
I wish nothing but that you read my letter, and his to me. No* 
tto longer will he maintain the place be did have in my heart 


He who can attribute to his friend such a low way of thinking, 
and who can allow himself so low a way of acting towards him, 
is not worthy of my friendship." 

Scarcely a few months had- passed after this letter, when Beet- 
hoven accidentally met Breuning. A full reconciliation took place 
instantly. Every hostile intention, however strongly he had 
expressed himself about it in the above letter, was entirely for- 
gotten. Beethoven dedicated to him one of his sonatas, and 
dined with him daily in his before-mentioned lodgings in front of 
the Alster-Caserne. 

Beethoven's irritability was frequently increased by an easily- 
excited suspiciousness, which had its foundation in his hardness 
of hearing. His most tried friends might be calumniated before 
him through any unknown person ; for he was extremely credulous. 
To the suspected party he made no accusation. He asked no 
explanation of him, but he showed the deepest contempt for him 
upon the spot. Frequently one knew not how he stood with him, 
until the affair, for the most part accidental, cleared itself up. 
But then he sought to make good the wrong he had done a: j 
quickly as possible. 

To his friends, so longas he had no suspicions against them, he 
was unalterably true. They could reckon in all trials upon his 
sympathy and aid. This amiable side of his character showed 
itself towards his friend and pupil, Ries, through a magnanimous 

Soon after the march of the French army into Vienna, in the 
year 1805, Ries, who was born on the left bank of the Rhine, was 
summoned back by the French laws as a conscript. Whereupon 
Beethoven wrote a petition to the Princess von Lichtenstein, 
which, however, to his great indignation, was not deliverer], This 
petition read, " Pardon me, most gracious princess, should you 
be disagreeably surprised, perchance, through the bearer of this. 
Poor Ries, my pupil, must in this unhappy war take the musket 
on his shoulder, and must, as a foreigner, in a few days go far from 
here. He has nothing, actually nothing, and must take a long 
journey. Under these circumstances, the opportunity of giving a 
concert is entirely cut off for him. He must take refuge in thu 
beneficence of others. I commend him to you. I know you will 
pardon me this step. Only in the extremest need can a noble 
man resort to such means. In this confidence, I send the poor 
fellow to you, hoping that you may in some way ease his circuin 

Even from this friend, for whom Beethoven interfered so active- 
ly, he was some years after separated by a misunderstanding 
fortunately soon lu-aled. It was in the year 1809, that Beethovei 
received Napolon' brother Jerome, then King of West- 


phalia, a call as kapell-meister at Cassel. His situation had become 
so unfavorable through the pressure of the war, that a place which 
would yield a definite income must have been desirable to him. 
In the contract, there was offered him a salary of six hundred 
ducats, beside free equipage. Nothing but his signature was 
wanting. By this call, the Archduke Rudolph and the Princes 
Lobkowitz and Kinsky were led to secure to the renowned com- 
poser a life annuity, on the sole condition that he remained in the 
imperial states. 

Unexpectedly Ries received a visit from the Kapell-meister 
Reichardt, who told him that Beethoven had definitely declined 
the place of kapell-meister in Cassel. The question was, therefore, 
whether he, as Beethoven's pupil, would not perhaps go to Cassel 
tor a smaller salary. Ries went straight to Beethoven to get more 
exact information about the matter, and to ask his advice. For 
three weeks long he was repulsed : even his letters were not 
answered. At length he met Beethoven upon a redoubt. He 
went up to him, and made him acquainted with his business. " Do 
you think," said Beethoven, in a cutting tone, " that you can fill 
a place which has been offered to me ? " He remained cold and 
repulsive. The next morning, Ries went to Beethoven's dwelling, 
hoping to come to an understanding with him. His servant said 
he vas not at home. But Ries heard him singing and playing in 
an adjoining room. He resolved, as the servant would not announce 
him, to go right in, but was pushed back before the door. Exceed- 
ingly provoked, Ries knocked the servant down. There Beet- 
hoven found him, as, disturbed by the noise, he rushed out of the 
room. Overwhelmed with reproaches by Ries, he could not find 
words for amazement. He stood motionless and staring. When 
the matter was explained, Beethoven said quietly, "I did not 
know that : I had been told that you sought to get the place 
behind my back." Ries assured him that he had not yet given 
any answer. And now Beethoven sought to repair the wrong. 
He took every pains to procure the place in question for his pupil, 
but without success, because it was too late. 

It would have been advantageous for Ries, if the plan proposed 
by Beethoven of a common journey had been executed. Ries on 
that journey was to perform Beethoven's piano-forte concertos, as 
well as other compositions. Beethoven himself would direct and 
only improvise. In that way his performance was the most 
extraordinary that could be heard, particularly when he was in a 
good humor, or found himself in an excited mood. Few artists 
have reached the height at which he stood in this branch of the 
art. The wealth of his ideas, his variety of treatment, his rr asterj 
of difficulties which presented themselves or which he introduced, 
were inexhaustible. It was remarkable how his inspiration madt 


him utterly insensible to outward impressions. " One day,* 
related Ries in his later year?, "after the lesson was finishsd, we 
were talking about themes for figures. I was at the piano, and 
Beethoven sat near me. While I played the first figure theme out 
of Graun's " Tod Jesu," Beethoven began with the left hand to 
play it over after me ; then he brought in the right also ; and now 
he worked it up, without the slightest interruption, for about half 
an hour. It was incomprehensible to me, how he was able tc 
hold out so long in that extremely inconvenient position." Will 
MI expression all his own, he played the rondo of his first concerto 
in C major, in which he brought in several doubled notes, to make 
it more brilliant. In general, he played his own compositions with 
a good deal of moodiness, but yet adhered for the most part to 
strict time, and took only occasionally, but seldom, a more rapid 
tempo. Sometimes in his crescendo he held back with a ritardd'ido, 
and thus produced a very beautiful and striking effect. In playing, 
he gave now with the right, and now with the left hand, some 
beautiful and quite inimitable expression. But very rarely did he 
add notes or ornaments. 

Without over-valuing himself, Beethoven was so little free from 
artist pride, that he easily lent a willing ear to a friend's sugges- 
tion, that the celebrated Clementi, who had been but a short time 
in Vienna, ought to pay him the first visit. So they only learned 
to know each other by sight, without coming into closer contact. 
It frequently happened that dementi, with his pupil Klengel, and 
Beethoven with Ries, sat at one and the same table at dinner at 
" The Swan." They all knew one another; but neither spoke with 
the other, or so much as greeted him. The two pupils had to imi- 
tate their masters, since each was probably threatened with the 
loss of lessons. Ries, at all events, would have suffered that loss, 
since Beethoven never knew a middle course. 

A deeper and more painful impression than this constraint, to 
which he had been obliged to submit himself, was left in Ries's 
memory by an incident in which the often-mentioned sensitiveness 
in Beethoven's character was manifested in a high degree. One 
day, when he played to his scholar his Sonata in C major, the 
latter was so delighted with the great andante in F major, then 
included in it, but which Beethoven afterwards separated from 
that sonata, and published as an independent piece, that he urged 
his teacher until he repeated it. On his way home, which led him 
pyst the house of Prince Lichnowsky, Ries went in to tell him of 
the new and splendid composition of Beethoven. He was earnest- 
ly entreated to play over all he recollected of the piece. As more 
and more of it recurred to him, the prince compelled him to repeal 
it once more ; and the result was, that he also learned a part of it. 
In order to surprise Beethoven, the prince went to him the next 


morning, and said he had composed something, which he thought 
was not so bad. In spite of Beethoven's distinct avowal that he 
did not wish to hear it, the prince sat down to the piano, and 
played, to Beethoven's astonishment, a large part of the an- 
dante ; whereupon the composer was so angry, that he declared 
he would never play again if his pupil Ries were present. Many 
times he desired him to leave the room. One day when a little 
company, to which Beethoven and Ries belonged, breakfasted with 
Piince Lichnowsky at eight o'clock in the morning, after a concert 
in the Augarten, it was proposed to go over to Beethoven's house, 
to hear his as yet unperformed opera, " Leonora." Arrived there, 
Beethoven, in the most decided way, demanded that his scholar, 
Ries, should withdraw. Ries, with tears in his eyes, since the 
most pressing entreaties of all present were of no avail, complied. 
Prince Lichnowsky went after him, and begged him to wait in the 
anteroom, which the young man's sense of honor would not per- 
mit. As he afterwards learned, the prince had been provoked at 
Beethoven's conduct, had reproached him most severely, and re- 
minded him that nothing but enthusiasm for his works had given 
occasion for the whole affair, and consequently to his wrath. But 
the representation had no effect, but to prevent Beethoven playing 
any more in company at all. 

He was seized with a very melancholy mood at the thought of 
the cold reception of one of his master-works, the opera " Fidelio." 
He charged it to the cabals of the not small number of his ene- 
mies. But the time chosen for its production was exceedingly un- 
favorable, since the French troops had just then occupied (1805) 
the imperial city. All the friends of music, and the more wealthy 
portion of the population, had fled from Vienna. The theatre was 
filled mainly with French officers. What Beethoven's friend, 
Stephen von Breuning, said of the opera itself and its production, 
in a letter from Vienna, June 2, 1806, to his brother-in-law, Dr. 
Wegeler, in Coblentz, deserves a place here. 

" I promised you," he writes, " so far as I remember, to tell you 
something of Beethoven's opera; and I will keep my promise. 
The music is the most beautiful and perfect one can hear. The 
subject is interesting. It represents the deliverance of a prisoner 
through the fidelity and courage of his wife. But, in spite of all 
that, nothing has caused Beethoven so much vexation as this work, 
whose worth the future only will appreciate. In the first place, 
the opera was given seven days after the entrance of the Frencl/ 
troops, a most unfavorable moment. Naturally the theatres 
were empty ; and Beethoven, who at once remarked some impel 1 - 
lections in the handling of the text, withdrew the pieces after the 
third performance. When things had got back to their old order, ht 
vuid I took it up again. I recast the entire libretto for him, so thai 


the action became more lively and more rapid. Beethoven short- 
ened many pieces, and it was then brought out three times with 
the greatest applause. But now his enemies were active in the 
theatre ; and since he had offended several persons, particularly in 
the second representation, they prevailed so far that the opera has 
not since been given. Already they had placed many difficulties 
in his way; and this one circumstance may serve as a proof of the 
rest.' that at the second representation he did not succeed in get- 
ting the opera announced with the title changed to " Fidelio," as 
it is called in the French original, and as it has been printed since 
the alterations were made. Contrary to every promise, the first 
title, " Leonora," stood upon the show-bills. The cabal is the 
more unpleasant for ISeethoven, since through the non-performunve 
of the opera, out of whose receipts he was to be paid a per cent- 
age, he will recover himself the more slowly. The treatment he 
has suffered has destroyed a great part of his taste and love for 
the work. I, perhaps, have given him more joy than anybody, 
since, without his knowing it, both in November and in the per- 
formance at the end of March, I had a little poem printed and dis- 
tributed through the theatre." 

Beethoven's friends thought his opera would gain by curtail- 
ments. The progress of the action was too slow and dragging. 
Before the renewed performance in the year 1807, a meeting was 
held to take counsel on that matter. The circle was composed, 
besides the Prince and Princess Lichnowsky, who was a distin- 
guished pianist, of the poet Von Collin and Stephen von Breuning 
(both of whom had already spoken about shortening the opera), the 
tenor Rock, the basso Meyer, and lastly Beethoven himself, who at 
the outset defended every bar. With his excitable nature, his rage 
knew no bounds, when a general opinion was expressed that 
whole pieces must come out. The aria of Pizarro had its peculiar 
difficulties for the singer, which Beethoven felt himself finally, and 
promised to compose a new aria. Prince Lichnowsky at length 
carried him so far that he consented to have several single pieces 
left out, but only by way of experiment, in the noxt performance, 
since they had failed once to produce effect : they could after- 
wards be re-inserted or used elsewhere. Beethoven yielded after 
long persuasion ; but the crossed-out pieces, among which were a 
duet in 9-8 time for two sopranos, and a terzet in 3-4 time, were 
never sung again upon the stage. 

Greatly occupied and in often changing humor, Beelhoven had 
for a long time discontinued his correspondence with his early 
friend, Dr. Wegeler, in Coblentz. It was the 2d of May, 1810, 
when he again gave him some account of his situation. In th 
opening of his letter, written in no cheerful mood, he excused him- 
elf for his long silence. " My good old friend," wrote Beethoven, 


' I can almost think my lines will cause you some astonishment. 
And vet, although you have had no proofs in writing, I still hold 
you always in the liveliest remembrance. For a couple of years 
past, all still and quiet life has ceased with me. And yet I have 
formed no conclusion therefor, perhaps rather the contrary. Who 
can escape the influence of the outward storms V Yet I were happy, 
perhaps one of the happiest of men, had not the demon taken up 
his abode in my ears. Had I not read somewhere that a man 
ought not voluntarily to depart from this life so long as he can yet 
do one good deed, I long since should have been no more, and that 
through myself. O how beautiful is life 1 For me, however, it is 
forever poisoned ! " 

The motive of the request contained in this letter, to send him 
his certificate of baptism, is obscure. " Whatever expenses there 
may be," he wrote, " as Stephen von Breuning has an account 
with you, you can be made good at once, since I will pay him all 
here immediately. Should you yourself think it worth the pains 
to investigate the matter, and should you be pleased to make the 
journey to Bonn, charge all to me. One thing is to be considered, 
namely, that there was still a brother of earlier birth before me, 
who likewise was called Ludwig, but with the addition of Maria, but 
who is dead. To determine my precise age, this also must be found ; 
since I know well enough that an error in regard to it has arisen 
through others, they making me out older than I was. Alas ! I 
have lived a good while without knowing how old I am. I had a 
stranger's register, but it is lost. Do not be offended if I commend 
this matter to you very warmly, namely, to find out the Ludwig 
Maria, and the present Ludwig, who came after him. The sooner 
you send me the baptismal certificate, the greater my obligation." 

In striking contrast with this letter, in which Beethoven's dis- 
content and weariness of life had risen to a purpose of self-murder, 
from which only his moral sentiment restrained him, was one writ- 
ten about three months later (Aug. 11, 1810). With enthusiasm 
Beethoven described in this letter the impression of a visit, with 
which Bettina, the sister of the poet Clemens Brentano, and 
afterwards wife of the writer Achim von Arnim, had not long 
before surprised him. 

" No spring was ever fairer than this year's," wrote Beethoven. 
" That say I, dearest Bettina ; and I feel it, too, since I have made 
your acquaintance. You must have seen that in company I am like 
a frog on the sand: he waltzes round, and cannot get away, until 
some benevolent Galatea tosses him again into the great sea. Yes, 
I was really high and dry, dearest Bettina. I was surprised by 
you in a moment when despondency was wholly master of me. 
But verily it vanished at the sight of you. I would havo it that 
you were of another world, and not of this absurd one, to which 


one caniiot, with the best will, open his ears. I am a n retched 
man, and mourn over others ! This you will pardon me with your 
good heart, which looks out of your eyes, and your understanding, 
which lies in your ears. At least, your ears know how to flatter 
when they listen. My ears, alas ! are a partition wall, through 
which I cannot easily have any friendly communication with men. 
Otherwise, perhaps, I should have confided more to you. As it was, 
I could only understand the great wise look of your eyes ; and 
that has assured me I shall never more forget it. Dear Bettina ! 
Dearest girl 1 Art 1 Who understands it ? with whom can one 
gpeak about this great goddess ? How dear to me are the few 
days when we chatted together, or rather corresponded ! I have 
kept all the little cards on which your clever, your dear, dearest 
answers stand. And so I have to thank my bad eyes, that the 
best part of those flying conversations were written down. Since 
you have been away, I have had painful hours, shadow hours, in 
which one can do nothing. I ran round, indeed, at three o'clock in 
the alley at Schb'nbrunn. and on the ramparts after you were gone. 
But no angel met me there who would have exorcised me like thee, 
angel. Pardon, dearest Bettina, this departure from the key. 
Such intervals I must have, to air my heart. And you have writ- 
ten to Gothe about me, is it not true ? Oh that I might stick 
my head into a bag, where I could hear and see nothing of all 
that is going on in the world, because, dearest angel, I shall not 
meet thee in it. But then I shall receive a letter from you ? Hope 
nourishes me : she nourishes all the world, and I have her for a 
neighbor all my life. Else what would have become of me 1 I 
send here, written with my own hand, 'Kennst du das Land' &c., 
as a memorial of the hour when I first learned to know you. I 
send also the other song, which I have composed since I took leave 
of thee, dear, dearest heart : 

Hera, mein Herz, was soil das gebeu, 

Was bedranget dich so sehr ? 
Welch ein fremdes, neues Leben 1 

Ich erkeune dich uicht mehr . 

* Yes dear Bettina, you must answer me that. Write me what 
the matter is (was es geben soil) with me, since my heart has 
become such a rebel." 

The impression which the talented Bettina had made upon 
Beethoven, and especially upon his heart, lasted a lon time. On 
the llth February, 1811, he wrote, "I have now two letters from 
you, dear Bettina. Your first letter I have carried about with me 
Ihe whole summer, and it has often made me happy. If I do not 
write to you so often, and you see nothing of me, yet I write you a 
thousand times a thousand letters in my thoughts. How you art 
situated there amongst the world's rabble in Berlin. I could not 


(onceive if I had not read it from you. A great deal of twaddle 
about art, without deeds. The best description of that is found 
in Schiller's epigram, ' The Rivers,' where the Spree speaks." 

In congratulating his friend on her approaching marriage, Beet- 
hoven adds a reflection on his own condition. " You marry, dear 
Bettina, or it is already done. I have not seen you once before. 
Then to you and to your husband flow all the happiness with which 
wedlock blesses the wedded ! What shall I tell you of myself? 
' Lament my fat j ! ' I exclaim with Schiller's Joan. If I can only 
rescue a few more years of life, I will thank the Highest, the All- 
in-himself-including, therefor, as for all weal or woe. If you write 
of me to Gothe, seek out all the words which can express to him 
my inmost reverence and admiration. I am just thinking of 
writing to him myself, on account of the " Egmont," to which 1 
have set music, and indeed purely out of love for his poems, which 
make me happy. Who can think enough of a great poet, the 
precious jewel of his nation ? But no more now, dear, good 
Bettina. I came home this morning about four o'clock from a 
bacchanalian party, where I was forced to laugh a great deal, only 
to weep as much almost to-day. Intoxicating joy often drives me 
violently back upon myself. I kiss thee on thy forehead, dear 
Bettina, and impress therewith, as with a seal, all my thoughts 
for thee." 

In a later letter to Bettina, Beethoven placed artistic worth 
higher than rank, titles, and other outward distinctions. He had 
been led to these reflections by his meeting with Gbthe in Teplitz. 
He wrote from there to Bettina in August, 1812, " Kings and 
princes can indeed make professors and privy councillors, and 
hang about them titles and orders ; but they cannot make great 
men, minds which stand out above the common rabble. That 
they must let alone ; and they must hold us in respect when two 
such come together as I and Gothe. Then even Majesty must 
mark what can pass for great with one of us. Yesterday, on the 
way home, we met the whole imperial family. We saw them 
coming from a distance ; and Gothe made himself free from my 
side, to place himself on the side of the walk. Say what I 
would, I could not bring him a step further I I pressed my hat 
upon my head, buttoned my overcoat, and went with arms down 
through the thickest of the crowd. Princes and courtiers opened 
to right and left. Duke Rudolph took off his hat : the lady 
empress greeted me first. The dignitaries knew me. I saw, to my 
true amusement, the procession defile past Gothe. He stood, hat 
in hand, profoundly bowing, at the side. Then I took him to task. 
I gave him no pardon ; and I reproached him with all his sins, 
especially those against you, dearest Bettina ! We had just been 
(peaking of you. God I could I have had as much time with you 


as he, believe me I would have produced more, much more, that it 
great. A musician is also a poet : he can feel himself suddenly 
transported by a pair of eyes into a fairer world, where grander 
spirits play with him, and move to noble plans. What thoughts 
came into my head when I first learned to know thee, on the ob- 
servatory here during the splendid May-shower ! It was a right, 
fruitful one for me too. The most beautiful themes slipped from 
your looks into my heart, which were one day to ravish the world, 
when Beethoven should no more direct. God grant me yet a 
couple of years, for I must see thee again, dear Bettina ! So 
demands the vcice which always carries the point in me. Spirits, 
too, can love one another : I shall always woo yours. Your appro- 
bation is the dearest thing in the world to me. I have told Gothe 
my opinion, how applause operates on one of us, and that one 
wants to be heard with the understanding by one's equals. Emo- 
tion is only fit for ladies, pardon me. With a man, music must 
strike fire out of his soul. Ah, dearest child ! how long it is already 
that we have been of one opinion about every thing I Nothing is 
good but to have a beautiful, good soul, whom one recognizes in 
all things, and before whom one need not hide oneself. One must 
be something if one would appear something: the world must 
recognize a person ; it is not aw ays unjust. That, to be sure, is of 
no concern to me, since I have a higher aim. The Duke of Weimar 
and Gothe wished that I would perform some of my music. I 
refused both. I do not play to their perverse whims. I do not 
make absurd stuff at the common expense, with princely ones, who 
never discharge that sort of debts. Thy last letter, dear Bettina, 
lay a whole night on my heart, and there quickened me. Musi- 
cians take all liberties." 

Such blissful moments were his compensation for many a bitter 
experience. Nothing so stirred up his sense of justice as to find 
himself deceived in the character of a man with whom he had long 
stood in friendly relations. The lawsuit, in which he became in- 
volved with a brother artist, the court mechanician, Maelzel, in 
Vienna, ended in a sort of compromise, whereby Beethoven let 
the case drop, but was obliged to pay half the costs. Beethoven's 
master-work,* " The Battle of Vittoria," which was to be performed 
during the Vienna Congress, in the year 1814, was the occasion of 
this controversy, about which Beethoven expressed himself at 
length in a deposition prepared for his counsel, Dr. von Aiders- 

" I had written for Maelzel," he says, " at my own suggestion, and 
without reward, a battle symphony for his Panharmonica. After 
*ie had had this a while, he brought me the score, from which he had 
already begun to engrave, and wished it arranged for full orchestra. 
I had before then conceived the idea of a battle-music, which, 


however, was not applicable to his Panharmonica. We agreed to 
give this and other works of mine in a concert for the benefit of 
the soldiers. In the mean time, I was in the most terrible pecuni- 
ary embarrassment. Forsaken by the whole world here in Vienna, 
in expectation of a change, &c., Maelzel offered me fifty ducats. 
J took them, and told him that I would return them to him here, 
or give him the work to take to London in case I did not make 
the journey with him ; in which latter case, I would introduce him 
to an English publisher, who would pay him the fifty ducats. The 
concerts were approaching ; and now for the first time Herr Mael- 
zel's plan and character developed themselves. Without my con- 
sent, he had printed on the handbills that it was his property. 
Provoked at this, I made him tear down the bills again. Then he 
put on, ' Out of friendship, on occasion of his journey to Lon- 
don.' This I permitted, since I reserved to myself the liberty of 
choosing under what conditions I would give him the work. I re- 
member there was a vehement contest during the printing of the 
bills. But I had not much time, and was still writing on my work. 
In the fire of inspiration, wholly absorbed in it, I scarcely thought 
of Maelzel more. Meanwhile, just after the first performance in 
the hall of the University, I was told on all sides, and by reliable 
men, that Maelzel had everywhere reported that he had lent me 
lour hundred ducats in gold. Immediately after the first concert, 
I gave back to Maelzel his fifty ducats, told him, that, since I had 
found out his character, I would not travel with him, being justly 
indignant that he, without asking me, had stated in the bills that 
all the arrangements for the concert had been thwarted ; and even 
that his bad patriotic character had manifested itself in several 
public expressions. I declared that I would not give him the 
work to take with him to London, except on conditions which I 
would make known to him. He now maintained that it was a gift 
of friendship, and had this expression put into the newspaper after 
the second concert, without asking me at all. As Maelzel is a 
coarse man, wholly without education, without culture, one can 
imagine how he behaved towards me during this time, and how he 
more and more provoked me. Who would make such a man a 
friendly present on compulsion ? An opportunity occurred for me 
to send the work to the Prince Regent, afterwards King George 
IV. of England. So it was not possible for me to give him this 
work unconditionally. Maelzel now made proposals. He was told 
on what day he should appear, to receive an answer : but he came 
not ; he travelled abroad, and had die work performed in Munich. 
How came he by it ? Stealing was not possible. Herr Maelzel 
had some of the separate parts for some days at his house ; and 
from these he got some low musical hack to put together a whole, 
which he is now peddling about the world. Herr Maelzel had 


promised me machines to help my hearing. To stimulate him, J 
arranged ' The Battle Symphony ' for his Panharmonica. His 
machines finally came to hand, but were not of sufficient use to 
me. For this little trouble, Herr Maelzel thought, after I had com- 
posed ' The Triumphal Symphony ' for grand orchestra, that I should 
compose the ' Battle ' in addition, and make him tho exclusive 
owner of the work. Admitting that I felt under some obligations 
to him for the hearing-machines, yet this is cancelled by the fact 
that he earned at least five hundred florins in Convention coin with 
the ' Battle ' stolen from me, or put together in a mutilated form. 
So he has made himself good. He even had the effrontery here to 
say that he had the ' Battle ; ' nay, he showed it to several men in 
writing. But I did not believe it, and was so far right ; since the 
whole was not by me, but put together by another. Besides, the 
honor, which he ascribed to himself alone, might in itself pass for 
compensation. The Councillor of War did not mention me ; and 
yet all the music of which the two concerts consisted was by me." 
Beethoven's uneasiness about such a dishonest proceeding led 
him, in a letter composed about the same time, July 25, 1814, to 
acquaint the musicians in London with the matter, and to warn 
the English public of a fraud in the highest degree injurious to 
him and his artistic reputation. He wrote, " Herr Maelzel, who is 
at present in London, has on his journey thifher brought out in 
Munich my triumphal symphonies, and Wellington's 'Battle at 
Vittoria,' and will, in all probability, give musical concerts with the 
same, as he had a mind to do in Frankfort. This leads me pub- 
licly to declare that I have never, and in no way, ceded or made 
over the said works to Herr Maelzel ; that no one possesses a copy 
of them ; and that I have sent the only one with which I ever 
parted to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of England. The 
performance of these works, therefore, by Herr Maelzel is either a 
fraud upon the public, since, by the above explanation, he does not 
possess these works, or, if he does possess them, an injury to me, 
since he has got hold of them in an unlawful way. But, even in 
the latter case, the public will be deceived : for what Herr Maelzel 
brings out under the title, ' Wellington's Battle at Vittoria, and 
Triumphal Symphony ' must plainly be a spurious or a mutilated 
work ; since, of these two works of mine, he never received any 
thing from me except a single part for a couple of days. This 
suspicion becomes certainty when I add the assurance of the mu- 
sicians here, whose names I am authorized, if need be, to make 
public, that Herr Maelzel, on his departure from Vienna, informed 
them that he possessed these works, and that he had shown them 
parts (voices) of them, which, as I have already shown, could only 
be mutilated, and not genuine. Whether Herr Maelzel is capable 
of such a wrong to me i? answered by the fact, (hat he announced 


himself alone in the public prints, without the mention of my name, 
as the undertak3r of my concerts, which took place here in Vienna 
for the benefit of those wounded in the war, when only my work? 
were performed. Therefore I exhort the musicians of London not 
to suffer such a wrong to me, their brother artist, as the perform- 
ance there by Herr Maelzel of the ' Battle of Vittoria ' and ' The 
Triumphal Symphony,' and to prevent the London public from 
being deceived by him in the way now charged." 

In Sepember, 1814, at the time of the Vienna Congress, these 
works, which had caused the composer so much vexation, were per- 
formed with great acceptance. Beethoven saw himself honored by 
many a distinction. The Empress of Russia made him a present 
of two hundred ducats. A musical society in England sent him a 
costly piano-forte, made by one of the first artists there. The 
magistrates at Vienna conferred on him the honorary right of citi- 
zenship, and the Society of Friends of Music in the Austrian 
empire made him an honorary member. Similar honors were ex- 
tended to him by the Philharmonic Society at Laibach, as well as 
by the musical academies in Amsterdam and Stockholm. 

So much the more was he surprised by the apparently indifferent 
reception of the " Battle of Vittoria," on the part of the Prince 
Regent, afterwards King George IV. of England. As we have 
already mentioned, Beethoven had sent the score of his work, with 
an inscription, to this prince, through the Austrian ambassador. 
For a long time he heard nothing of it, except that the " Battle of 
Vittoria " had been performed with great acceptance several even- 
ings in succession in the Drury Lane Theatre. Then he sent, en- 
closed to his friend and pupil Ries. a letter in his own hand to 
King George IV., with directions to deliver it in person. But thh 
method had its great difficulties, inasmuch as only persons of the 
highest rank, and only the select of these, were presented to the 
king. The very look of the letter was enough to frighten one : 
although Beethoven, whose handwriting was for the most part 
illegible, may have tried to write more fairly and distinctly. Ries 
turned to the secretary of the Austrian legation, Herr von Bauer. 
But he replied he could not possibly in his position hand the letter 
to the king ; but he would try to have it reach the monarch's hand 
througt some private person. This attempt, however, remained 
fruitless. Through a page, who was very fond of Beethoven's 
compositions, the letter was indeed handed to the king ; but no 
gift, nor word of thanks, resulted. Of this, Beethoven often bitterly 
complained ; and this led him one day, in a letter to Ries, to 
make use of the humorous expression ; ' The king might at least 
have honored me with a butcher's knife or a turtle." Probably 
Beethoven had heard that the king was a gourmand : hence this 


In striking contrast with this cold reception of one of his most 
eminent works, stands the memorable distinction shown him at an 
earlier period (17 9-) by a German prince. He never could forget 
his reception at the court of the King of Prussia, Frederick 
William II. In Berlin, Beethoven composed and played two 
sonatas with violoncello obligate, one of them for the first violinist 
of the king, Duport. On taking leave, he received a golden snuff- 
box filled with Louis-d'ors. With satisfaction he declared that it 
was no common box, but such an one as was given to ambassadors. 
Of the Kappell-meister Himmell, with whom he had much inter- 
course during his stay in Berlin, Beethoven said, " He possesses a 
very clever talent, and his piano-playing is elegant and pleasing ; 
but he stands far below Prince Louis Ferdinand in this respect." 
To the latter, Beethoven thought to pay a great compliment, when 
he told him that he played not in a kingly or princely manner, but 
like a clever pianist. The friendly relation between Beethoven and 
Himmell, however, was of short duration. Himmell was weak 
enough to enter into a competition with Beethoven in improvising 
upon the piano. Beethoven, after listening to him for some time, 
offended him by saying, " You prelude a great while : when are 
you going to begin V " Himmell's vanity could never quite get 
over this wound ; and there was ever after a coldness between him 
and Beethoven, in spite of an apparent reconciliation. 

Regard for outward conventions, even where their demands 
seemed unconditional, was a thing impossible for Beethoven. 
Whatever belonged to etiquette, he had never known and would 
not know. His conduct often caused no little embarrassment in the 
immediate circle of the Archduke Rudolph. When he was in- 
structed about the formalities which he had to observe, he promised 
to do better ; but it always ended with a promise. One day, when 
they tutored him again, as he called it, he rushed in a state of ex- 
treme indignation to the archduke, and declared unequivocally, 
that he cherished the deepest reverence for him and his person, 
but that strict observance of the prescriptions which they gave 
him daily was, once for all, no business of his. The archduke 
smiled good-naturedly, and gave orders that thenceforth they 
should let him go his own way undisturbed : there was no help 
for it. 

One of Beethoven's manifold peculiarities was his frequent 
change of lodgings. In the beginning of spring, he went regu- 
larly into the country, and did not return to the city until late in 
autumn. When he composed his opera " Leonora," he had for a 
whole year free lodgings in the theatre upon the Wieden. Buf 
this habitation did not content him long. He hired rooms at the 
same time in the Red House, so called, on the Alster-Caserne, where 
bis friend Stephen von Breuning also lived. When summer came, 


he engaged a country residence in Dbbling. After his return to 
the city, a quarrel with Breuning, before mentioned, led him to 
hire lodgings in the fourth story of the house of Baron Pasquillati. 
on the Mb'lker ramparts, commanding a very beautiful prospect. 
Thus he had four dwelling-places at a time. From the last he 
moved out several times, but always came back again ; so that the 
Baron Pasquillati used good-humoredly to say, when Beethoven 
moved out, " The rooms shall not be let : Beethoven is coming 

The natural consequence of this frequent change of residence 
was, that not a little time was consumed in the transportation of 
his chattels back and forth, before any order was restored among 
them, especially among his papers. To his own manuscript works, 
Beethoven attached little value. They lay for the most part, after 
they were once engraved, in an adjoining room, or on the floor in 
the middle of the room, with other music. Scarcely put in order, 
his papers, if he looked for any thing, flew into confusion again. 
Beethoven's dwelling betrayed no especial expensiveness ; he had 
no fondness for it, even in his dress, although it was always neat, 
and he wore particularly fine linen. Of luxury and splendor of 
any sort, he was no friend ; and in his demeanor, from youth up, he 
was awkward and ungainly. As his friend Ries said, Beethoven 
seldom took any thing into his hand that did not fall or break. 
Many a time did he upset his inkstand into his piano, which stood 
aear the writing-desk. Ries adds, " How Beethoven contrived to 
shave himself, it is hard to conceive, unless one considered the fre- 
quent cuts upon his cheeks." He was utterly unsuited for the care 
of economical matters. In an already-mentioned letter of an 
earlier period, 1801, to the Kapell-meister Hofmeister in Leipsig, 
Beethoven himself confessed that he was any thing but an account- 
ant. For that reason, his life and his own housekeeping were more 
expensive for him than for anybody else, notwithstanding that he 
denied himself almost every convenience. But he seldom com- 
plained of it, and did not willingly accept aid from friends who 
knew his situation. 

He was particularly straitened through the depreciation of 
paper-money. This he confessed in a letter to his friend Ries, 
which, at the same time, affords valid proof of how Beethoven's 
kind-heartedness, in spite of his embarrassments, was quite unable 
to withhold a helping hand from others. In that letter (Nov. 22, 
1815), he confessed, "I have lost six hundred florins yearly on my 
salary. At the time of the bank-notes it was nothing. Then 
came the redemption bonds ; and by them I lost these six hundred 
florins. We are now at the point where the bonds are worse than 
ever the bank-notes were. I pay one thousand florins house-rent. 
Vnagine the distress which this paper-money occasions. My poor 


unhappy brother Carl has just died. He had a bad wife. T can 
say he had for some years consumption of the lungs ; and I can 
safely reckon what I gave him to make life easier to him at ten 
thousand florins, Vienna currency. That, now, for an Englishman 
indeed is not much ; but for a poor German, much more an Austrian, 
it is a great deal. The poor fellow had altered a good deal in his 
last years. From my heart I lament him ; and I rejoice to be able 
to say to myself, that I have in nothing fallen short of my duty in 
regard to his support." 

While the death of his brother, as Beethoven confessed in a 
letter to Ries, Feb, 18, 1816, "worked deeply on his mind and on 
hs works," he experienced a new and not less sensible loss. Hi.* 
countryman, the before-mentioned famous violinist Salomon, born 
like himself in Bonn, died in London, where he had lived many 
years, on the 25th of November, 1815. As a member of the Phil- 
harmonic Society, he had been of great service in diffusing there a 
taste for Haydn's music, and also in regard to Beethoven, whose 
compositions, especially his symphonies, he had brought out in 
several public concerts. In a letter of the 28th of February, 
1816, to Ries, who was then in London, Beethoven said, " Salo- 
mon's death pains me much, since he was a noble man, whom I 
remember from my childhood. You have become his executor, and 
I at the same time guardian of the child of my poor dead brother. 
You will hardly have had as much annoyance as I have from this 
death. But there remains to me the sweet consolation of having 
rescued a poor innocent child from the hands of an unworthy 

The straitened condition in which he then was, and which he 
has described in a foregoing letter, was ill calculated to put Beet- 
hoven in a cheerful humor, to say nothing of the oft-returning 
attacks of sickness which robbed him of it. He often found him- 
self in pecuniary trouble. " Of the ten ducats," he wrote on the 
8th of March, 1816, to Ries in London, " not a farthing has arrived 
as yet ; and I begin already to believe that the English, too, are 
only generous abroad. So I found it with the Prince Regent, from 
whom 1 have never even received the cost of copying for my 
Battle of Vittoria,' nay, not even a word of written or of oral 
thanks. My income amounts to thirty-four thousand in paper. I 
pay eleven hundred for house-rent ; my servant with his wile costs 
me nine hundred florins : you can reckon what remains. Besides, 
I have my little nephew wholly to provide for. Until now, he is at 
the Institute : that costs me as much as eleven hundred florins, and 
a bad arrangement at that ; so that I shall have to commence 
regular housekeeping, and take him home with me. How much 
one has to earn, merely to be able to live here ! And yet there is 
no end of it, for for for you know already. Then, too, my 


iear pupil Ries must set himself to work and dedicate something 
dever to me ; to which the master must respond, and offset like 
with like." Beethoven closed his letter with the words, " All that 
is beautiful to your wife ; alas ! I have none. I have found but 
one, and her I never shall possess ; but I am no woman-hater, for 
all that." 

That Beethoven never was without a tender passion, and for the 
most part deeply smitten by it, appears from the unanimous testi- 
mony of his friends. The first object of his youthful inclinations 
was a young lady of Cologne. Jeanette D'Honrath, who often 
passed some weeks in the Von Breuning family in Bonn. She was 
a handsome, lively blonde, of agreeable culture, who took a lively 
interest in music, and sang quite gracefully. Her favored lover, 
and afterwards husband, was an Austrian officer in Cologne, by the 
name of Carl Grath. who died as (ield-marshal-lieutenant and com- 
mandant of Temeswar on the 15th of October, 1827. After this, 
by a sort of Werther's love, Beethoven was for some time en- 
chained to a Fraulien von W , also distinguished by her 

beauty and her culture. In Vienna also he had formed several 
love relations, and sometimes made conquests which would have 
been difficult, if not impossible, to many an Adonis. Even in his 
later years, he liked very well to look upon beautiful young faces. 
When he met a charming maiden in the street, he turned round, 
surveyed her sharply through his glass, and smiled when he saw 
that any one observed it. But his loves were only of short dura- 
tion. He openly confessed once to his friend Ries, who joked him 
on the conquest of a beautiful lady, that she had enchained him the 
most deeply and the longest, seven full months. 

" One evening," says Ries at a later period, "I went to Beet- 
hoven at Baden, near Vienna, where he often stopped, in order to 
continue my lessons. There I found a handsome young lady, sitting 
by him on the sofa. As it seemed to me that I came mal-a-propos, I 
was on the point of instantly retiring ; but Beethoven held me back 
and said, " Play a little while." He and the lady remained 
sitting behind me. I had already played a long while, when Beet- 
hoven suddenly exclaimed, ' Ries, play something that has love 
in it ! ' Then again soorv ' Something melancholy 1 ' Then, 
' Something passionate 1 ' aud so on. From what I heard, I coul<? 
conclude that he had perhaps offended the lady in some way, an'u 
now wanted to make it right by humors. Finally he sprang up 
and cried, ' Those are mere things of mine ! ' I had, to be sure, 
always played movements out of his own works, strung together 
merely by some short transitions, which, however, seemed to have 
caused him satisfaction. The lady went away ; and Beethoven, to 
my great astonishment, did not know who she was. I then heard 
that she had come in just before me, in order to make Beethoven V 


acquaintance. Wf soon followed after her, to ascertain her resi 
dence, and thereby afterwards her rank. We saw her still in th 
distance, since it wus bright moonlight ; but suddenly she vanished. 
We kept on waikiiig and conversing upon various matters for about 
an hour and a half in the beautiful vale adjoining. As we went 
away, Beethoven said, ' I must contrive to find out who she is, 
and you must help me.' Long afterwards I met her in Vienna; 
and I now discovered that she was the loved one of a foreign prince. 
I imparted my information to Beethoven, but have never, either 
from him or from any one else, heard any thing more about her." 

With these rapid changes of his feelings and outward impres- 
sions, Beethoven's absent-mindedness and forgetfulness were na- 
turally connected. For some variations in A major on a Russian 
air, he had received from Count Browne in Vienna a present of a 
fine saddle-horse. He rode it a few times, but soon forgot all 
about his fodder. Beethoven's servant, soon observing this, used 
his master's forgetfulness for his own profit. He let out the horse, 
but for a long time handed in no accounts for fodder, so as not to 
awaken his master's attention. At last, Beethoven received all at 
once a large bill, which suddenly recalled to his memory his horse 
and his own negligence. In many other cases, Beethoven's dis- 
traction showed itself. When the charms of nature, which he 
loved from his youth up, enticed him into the open air, he forgot, to 
the great distress of his hired housekeeper, to return at meal-time. 
He ate in any chance eating-house, while many a friend, whom he 
had invited to dine with him, vainly awaited his return. It often 
happened, when he sat down upon the grass, that he got up sud- 
denly, and hastened on, without remarking that he had leit his hat 
lying on the ground. Not seldom did it occur, that, after staying 
out a long tune in the most frightful weather, he came home 
shivering and bareheaded, with the rain dripping from his gray 

The realm of tones snatched Beethoven in his last years almost 
entirely from the actual world, from which his nearly total loss of 
hearing separated him. He shrank back into solitude, declining 
almost every invitation, lest he should be, through his deafness, 
burdensome to others. With this tender sparing of others, there 
was united in Beethoven a - citizen-of-the- world sense of freedom 
which would brook no restraint. Without regard to consequences, 
when he appeared in public places, he expressed his opinion freely 
and plainly, not seldom very sarcastically, about the government, 
ah mit the police, about the manners of the great, &c. Everybody 
understood this in Vienna, and indulged him, whether on the score 
of eccentricity or out of reverence f.>r his genius. Hence Beet- 
hoven frequently maintained, that " Nowhere can one speak more 
freely than iu Vienna." His ideal of a constitution was the Eng- 


fish. By that he tried every political manifestation. But he knew 
very well how much he and his works were prized in England. 

He had an unmistakable proof of that in 1817, when the Phil- 
harmonic Society in London invited him to come there and to com- 
pose some grand symphonies. Beethoven was compelled by his 
sickness and by other circumstances to give up this journey. But 
the lively interest he took in the idea for a long time appears in 
the correspondence which he had about it with his friend and 
pupil, Ries, who had for some years lived in London. From the 
i'act, too, that it sheds some light upon Beethoven's otherwise not 
very favorable situation, this correspondence is not without interest. 

Beethoven wrote to Ries from Vienna on the 9th of July, 1817, 
" The commissions sent me in your last letter are very flattering. 
From this you will see how highly I esteem them. Were it not 
for my unlucky infirmity, which makes me require much more 
nursing and expense, especially upon a journey and in a foreign 
land, I should accept unconditionally the proposal of the Philhar- 
monic Society. But place yourself in my position. Consider how 
many more hinderances I have to contend with than any other 
artist, and then judge whether my requirements are unreasonable. 
Here they are ; and I beg you to communicate them personally to 
(he gentlemen directors of the Philharmonic Society : 1. I will be 
in London in the first half of the month of January, 1818, by the 
latest. 2. The two grand symphonies, entirely new, shall then bo 
ready, and shall remain the property of the Society alone. 3. The 
Society gives me 300 guineas for them, and 100 guineas for travel- 
ling expenses, which, however, will come much higher in my case, 
since it will be indispensable that I take a companion with me. 

4. Since I begin immediately to work upon the composition of these 
grand symphonies, the Society (on the receipt of my draft) will 
send rue here the sum of 150 guineas, so that I may provide a car- 
riage and other preparations for the journey without delay. 

5. The conditions with regard to not appearing in any other orches- 
tra, to not directing, and to giving the preference to the society, 
other things being equal, are accepted by me, and would, by my 
love of honor, have been understood as a matter of course. J 
must hope for the countenance of the Society in initiating and 
furthering one or more (according to circumstances) benefit con- 
certs for me. The especial friendship of some of the directors of 
your estimable Reunion, as well as the kind interest of all artists 
in 'my works, is to me a pledge of that, and spurs me on so much 
the more to realize their expectations. 7. Moreover, I wish to 
have the acceptance or ratification of the above drawn up in the 
English language, signed by three directors in the name of the 
Society." In a postscript to this letter, he adds, " I have pur- 
posely used another's hand in this letter, in order that you may LMJ 


better able to read it all, and lay it before the Society. Of youi 
friendly sentiment towards me I am convinced, and hope that the 
Philharmonic Society will accept my proposal. You may be as- 
sured that I will use all my power to execute the honorable com- 
mission of so select a Society in the most worthy manner." In the 
same postscript, Beethoven inquired how strong the orchestra 
would be ? how many violins, &c. ? with one or with two propor- 
tions of brass ? Is the hall large or resonant ? &c. 

Beethoven unfortunately was obliged to postpone the intended 
journey. " In spite of my wishes, " he wrote to Ries on t he 5th 
of March, 1818, " it was not possible for me to come this year to 
London. I beg you to say to the Philharmonic Society, that im 
feeble health prevented me. I hope, however, to be this spring 
perhaps entirely cured, and then to avail myself early in the au- 
tumn of the commission from the Society, and fulfil all the condi- 
tions of the same." 

The following passage in this letter affords a deep insight into 
Beethoven's situation, which, according to his own statements, 
must have been very oppressive. " I wish, " he says to Ries, 
" that your fortunes may improve daily. Alas 1 I cannot say that 
of myself. I cannot see another starve : I must give. So you 
can imagine what and how I suffer. Write to me very soon, I be^ r 
you. If it is in any way possible, I will get away from here early, 
to escape my utter ruin, and so reach London at the latest in the 
winter. I know that you will stand by an unfortunate friend. 
Had I been in the possession of my strength, and had I not been 
here, as always, bound by circumstances, I surely should have 
done far more for you." 

Over a year had passed, when Beethoven, in a letter to Ries 
(April 3, 1819), saw himself obliged once more to announce, that 
for the present he could not possibly come to London, since he 
was entangled in so many circumstances. " But God will certainly," 
he add'd, " aid me to come to London next winter, when I will 
bring with me the new symphonies. I expect very soon the text 
lor a new oratorio, which I write here for the Musical Society, and 
which perhaps will also serve us in London. Do what you can 
for me, for I need it. Orders from the Philharmonic Society 
would have been very welcome. The accounts which Neate has 
sent me from London about the almost total failure of the three 
overtures distressed me. Here each of them in its way, not only 
pleased, but those in E flat and C major made a really great im- 
pression. The fate of these compositions with the Philharmonic 
Society is incomprehensible to me. You will already have re- 
ceived the arranged quintette and the sonata. Have both these 
works, especially the quintette, engraved at once. With the sona- 
ta, there is less need of haste ; yet I should like to have it appear 


within at least two, or at the most, three months. Your earlier 
letter, of which you speak, I <lid not receive : hence I did not hesi- 
tate to sell these two works here also ; that is to say, merely for 
Germany. Meanwhile, it will take three months before the sonata 
appears here. But do make haste with the quintette. As soon 
as you remit me the money here, I will send you, for the publisher, 
a certificate as proprietor of these works for England, Scotland, 
Ireland, France, &c." 

About a fortnight later, on the 18th of April, 1819, Ries received 
from his old friend and teacher a very discontented letter : " It i 
incomprehensible to me," wrote Beethoven, " how so many errors 
could occur in the copy of the sonata. The incorrect copying 
may have arisen from the fact that I no longer have a copyist of 
my own. Circumstances have brought all this about ; and God 
must better it, until there comes a different state of things. This 
has lasted now a whole year. It is frightful how this thing has 
gone on, and what has become of my material ; and yet no man 
can say what will come of it, until the promised year is passed. 
Should the sonata not suit London, I could send another, or you 
could leave out the largo, and begin at once with the fugue in the 
last piece. I leave it to your discretion. The sonata lias been 
written in depressing circumstances ; for it is hard to write almost 
for bread's sake. To this, then, have I come ! To go to London 
were certainly the sole salvation for me, to free me from this 
wretched, irksome situation, in which I never can be well, and 
never do the work I could in better circumstances." In a Inter 
letter (25th May, 1819), Beethoven confessed, " I was confined 
by cares, as never before in my life, and that by excessive kindnem 
towards other men." 

Beethoven excused his long silence in a letter of the 6th of 
April, 1822, with the confession that he had been sick again for 
more than a whole year. " Still," he wrote, " I cherish the 
thought of coming yet to London, if only my health permit, per- 
haps next spring. You would find in me, dear Ries, the true up- 
preciator of my dear scholar, now great master ; and who know? 
what new good thing for art may yet spring up in uni( n with you. 
I am, as always, given up entirely to my Muse, and find in that 
alone the happiness of my life.' 

In this same letter, Beethoven mentioned a grand mass (A/ma 
Solemnis) which he had not long before written. To his inquiry ti 
Ries, whether something might not be made of it in London, he 
had received no answer. Accordingly he turned (in a letter of 
the 26tb of July, 1822) to the music-dealer Peters, in Leipzig, the 
head of the Bureau de Musique there. " I hereby inform you," 
he wrote, u that I will give you the mass, together with (he piano- 
forte arrangement, tor the sura f 1.000 florins in Convention coin. 


By the end of July, you will receive this work, well written off in 
score : perhaps a few days earlier or later, since I am always very 
busy, and have been sick now for five months. But, since one has 
to go through a work very attentively when it is going to a dis- 
tance, it becomes a slow operation with me. The competition for 
my works is at present very strong ; for which I thank the Al- 
mighty, for I have also lost much. Besides, I am foster-father tn 
my brother's helpless child. As this boy of fifteen shows so much 
talent for the sciences, it not only costs a great deal for the in- 
struction and support of my nephew, but his future must be thought 
of, since we are neither Indians nor Iroquois, who leave all to the 
dear God ; and it is a sad life, that of a pauper. In relation to one 
expression in your letter, I assure you on my honor that it has al- 
ways been my principle never to offer myself to any publisher ; not 
out of pride, but because I like to see how far the domain of my 
little talent reaches ." 

On the 3d of August, 1822, Beethoven wrote to Peters in Leip- 
zig, " I have already told you of my not yet being wholly restored 
to health. I require baths, as also mineral water, and medicine 
besides. Hence things are somewhat deranged with me, the more 
so, that I must still write. Corrections, too, consume time. In re- 
gard to the songs and the other marches and little things, I am not 
yet decided on the selection ; but all may be ready to send by the 
15th of this month. I wait for your directions, and will make no 
use of your remittance. So soon as I know that the price for 
the mass and for the other works is here, all can be delivered by 
the 15th of this month. But, after the 15th, I must go to a mineral 
bath which is in this neighborhood. Hence it is important for me 
to avoid all business for a while. 

About his physical condition, Beethoven wrote some three 
months later, on the 22d of November, 1822, " My health is not, 
indeed, fully restored by my baths ; but, on the whole, I have gained. 
I had one special evil here, which was hard to overcome: another 
person had sought me out a dwelling-place which did not suit nu- ; 
and this put back my business not a little, since one never can got 
on well so." 

A letter of Beethoven to Peters in Leipzig (20th December, 182'2) 
contains the confession : " It is impossible for mo in all cases to 
make a percentage arrangement. I find it very hard to reckon in 
that way oftener than is absolutely necessary. Besides, my situa- 
tion is not so brilliant as you suppose. I am not in a condition to 
give an immediate hearing to all orders. There are too many of 
them ; and there are many things which cannot be refused. Not 
always does the thing required accord with the author's wish. 
Were not my income wholly without income, I would write nothing 
but grand symphonies, church music, at the least quintettes.'' 


With the expressions in this letter, another of the same date, to 
his friend Hies in London, harmonizes. " With satisfaction," he 
writes, " I accept the commission to write a new symphony for the 
Philharmonic Society. If the compensation from the English 
3annot be compared with other nations, I would write even gratis 
for the first artists of Europe, if I were not always the poor Beet- 
hoven. If I were only in London, what great things would I not 
write for the Philharmonic Society 1 For Beethoven, thank God ! 
can write, if nothing else in the world. If God only gives me hack 
my health again, which has improved, to say the least, then I can 
execute orders from all parts of Europe, nay, even from North 
America, and I may yet come to a green branch." 

In a letter of the 20th of March, 1823, Beethoven pleaded his 
situation in excuse for his delay in sending some military marches 
to Peters, the chef of the Bureau de Musique in Leipzig. " You 
would not think it strange," he wrote, " that you receive the three 
marches only to-day, if you were here, and knew my situation. A 
description of it would be too prolix, both for you and me. But I 
find here something to remark on what I have sent. In the grand 
march, there might be several regimental bands united, in order to 
man all the parts ; and where a regimental band is not strong 
enough, a band-master can easily manage it by leaving out some 
parts. In Leipzig even, you may find some one who can show you 
how this march may be set with fewer parts : although it will pain 
me if it should not appear in print entirely as it is. You must 
pardon the many corrections in the copy. My old copyist's sight 
is failing, and the younger one must first be broken in. But all is 
at least free from errors. It is impossible for me to serve you at 
once with a violin and a piano quartette. In case you write me 
betimes, however, whether you wisn both works, I will do all I can. 
Only I must add, that I cannot take for a violin quartette less than 
50 ducats, and for a piano quartette 70 ducats, as otherwise I 
should suffer loss. Indeed, 50 ducats have been offered me more 
than once for violin quartettes. But I do not like to be exorbitant ; 
and hence with you I adhere to these 50 ducats, which is actually 
now the common price. You know how quartettes have risen now 
to the highest point, so that one is even shamed with a great work. 
Meanwhile my situation demands that I should have every advan- 
tage more or less for an inducement. It is quite another matter 
with the work itself. There I never think, thank God ! of the ad- 
vantage, but only how I write." 

Beethoven often complained that he was obliged, for the sake of 
gain, to have recourse to giving lessons. On the 25th of April, 
1823, he wrote to Ries in London, " The visit of the Archduke 
Rudolph here in Vienna lasted nearly four weeks. Then I had 
every day to give two and a half or three hours' lessons, and lost 


much time by it. After such lessons, on the next day one is hardly 
in a state to think, much less to write. But my continually sad 
condition requires that I shall write for the moment that which 
brings me so much money which is needed for the moment. What 
a gloomy revelation you have here 1 Even now I am not well of 
many troubles I have suffered ; indeed I have bad eyes. But do 
not be concerned : you shall have the symphonies very soon. Noth- 
ingbut this miserable condition causes the delay." 

Beethoven had dedicated some piano-forte variations to the wife 
of his friend Ries, and had sent them to London. " They have 
perhaps already arrived," he wrote on the 16th of July 1823. 
" The dedication to your wife I could not make myself, since I did 
not know her name. Do you, then, make it in the name of your 
own and your wife's friend. Surprise her with it. The fair sex 
loves that. Between ourselves, what is surprising as well as 
beautiful is the best. As to the Allegri di bravura, I must first see 
yours. Candidly, I am no friend of such things, since they de- 
mand too much mechanism, at least those which I know. I will 
send you some choruses if I succeed in composing any new ones. 
It is just my darling passion. Whatever you can get for the varia- 
tions, take. I am content in any case ; only I must stipulate, that 
for the dedication to your wife there shall be absolutely no other 
pay taken but a kiss, which I have to receive in London. You 
frequently write guineas, and I receive only sterling ; but I hear 
there is a distinction. Be not angry about it with apauvre musi- 
cien autrkhien; really my condition is still oppressive. I am 
writing now a new violin quartette. Might one, perhaps, offer this 
to the London musical or unmusical Jews, en vrai Juiff " 

Beethoven's melancholy condition troubled him the more, since 
it everywhere set limits to the disinterestedness and liberality 
which were fundameutal traits in his character. In a letter to 
Ries, Sept. 5, 1823, he confessed, " Were I not so poor that I have 
to live by my pen, I would take nothing from the Philharmonic So- 
ciety. I must really wait until the price for the symphony has 
been remitted. But to give a proof of my love and confidence for 
this Society, I have already sent them off a new overture. I leave 
it to the Society to do as it pleases with the overture. My brother 
Johann, who supports an equipage, has also wished to draw from 
me ; and so, without asking me, he has offered the said overture to 
a publisher, Boosey, in London. Just say that my brother was 
mistaken about the overture. He bought it of me to speculate 
upon, as I perceive. frater / Of your symphony, dedicated to 
me, I received nothing. If I did not consider the dedication as a 
sort of challenge, upon which I should have had to give you satis- 
faction, I should already have dedicated some work to you. But 
I thought, all the time, that I must first see your work, and how 


fladly I would testify my thanks to you by something of the sort, 
am deeply your debtor for so much devotion and obligingness 
which you have shown to me. If my health should be improved 
by the mineral bath, then I will kiss your wife in 1824 in London." 
The portrait which is sketched of Beethoven by an Englishman, 
who visited him about :his time, is interesting in many ways. " The 
28th of September, 1823," wrote that traveller, " will always be 
remembered by me as a Dies f ami ux. In fact, I do not know that 
I ever lived a happier day. Early in the morning, we went to Ba- 
den, a village near Vienna, where Beethoven was residing. As 
Herr H., one of his most intimate friends, accompanied me, I could 
not feel embarrassed at appearing before Beethoven. At first he 
looked steadily at me, and then he, shook my hand as heartily as if 
I were an old acquaintance ; for he remembered clearly my first visit 
in the year 1816, although that had been a very brief one, a proo r 
of his excellent memory. I found, to my deep regret, a great change 
in his exterior ; and it occurred to me at the moment that he seemed 
to be very unhappy. His complaints to H. afterwards confirmed 
my apprehension. I feared that he would not understand a word 
of what I said. But I was mistaken, for he comprehended all that 
I said to him aloud and slowly. From his answers, it appeared that 
nothing of what H. said was lost, although neither he nor I used 
the hearing-trumpet. Yet I must mention, that, when he played 
the piano, he, as a general rule, began so that twenty or thirty 
strings had to pay the penalty. Nothing can be more full of life 
and genius, and, to use an expression which characterizes his sym- 
phonies so well, more energetic, than bis conversation, when one 
has once put him in a good humor. But an untimely question, a 
bad piece of advice, for instance, in relation to the cure of his 
deafness, is enough to alienate him forever. He wished, for a com- 
position upon which he was just then engaged, to know the utmost 
possible compass of the trombone, and asked Heir H. about it ; 
whose reply, however, did not satisfy him. Thereupon he told me 
that he had made it a rule to inform himself through the different 
artists themselves about the construction, character, and compass 
of the leading instruments. He presented to me his nephew, a 
handsome young man of about eighteen years, the only relative 
with whom he lived upon a friendly footing. He added, ' You 
can, if you will, give him a puzzle in Greek,' by which he meant to 
inform me of the young man's intimate acquaintance with that 
language. The history of this relation places Beethoven's good- 
ness of heart in the clearest light. The most affectionate father 
could not have made greater sacrifices for him than he did. 

After we had been more than an hour with him. we took our 
leave, to meet again at one o'clock at table in the ronmntic Helen- 
enthal. We visited the baths and other notabilities, went about noon 


again to Beethoven's house, where he was already awaiting us, 
and then set out on our way to the valley. Beethoven is a good 
walker, and takes delight in walks of several miles, especially 
through a wild and romantic country : indeed, they told me that he 
passed whole nights on such excursions, and often staid away from 
home for several days. On our way to the valley, he frequently 
stopped suddenly, and showed me the beautiful points, or remarked 
the want of new buildings. Another time, he seemed entirely 
buried in himself, and merely hummed to himself in an unintelligi- 
ble manner. I heard, however, that this was his way of compos- 
ing, and that he never wrote down a note until he had made him- 
self a definite plan of the whole piece. As the day was singularly 
beautiful, we ate in the open air ; and what seemed particularly to 
please Beethoven was, that we were the only guests in the hotel, 
and had the whole day alone to ourselves. The meal prepared for 
us was so luxurious that Beethoven could not help making remarks 
about it. ' Wherefore so many different dishes ? ' he exclaimed. 
' Man stands but little above other animals if his chief enjoyments 
are limited to the table.' Such reflections he made several times 
more during the repast. Of meats, he is only fond of fishes ; and 
among them the trout is his favorite. He hates all constraint ; and 
I do not believe there is a person in Vienna who speaks of every 
thing, even of political subjects, with so little reserve as Beethoven. 
He hears poorly ; but he speaks extraordinarily well, and his remarks 
are as characteristic and original as his compositions. During the 
whole course of our table-talk, nothing was more interesting than 
what he said of Handel. I sat next to him ; and I heard him most 
distinctly say in German, ' Handel is the greatest composer who 
has ever lived.' I cannot describe with what expression, I might 
say, with what inspiration, he spoke of the ' Messiah ' of that im- 
mortal genius. Every one of us felt deeply moved when he said, 
' I would uncover my head, and kneel upon his grave.' Repeatedly 
I sought to turn the conversation upon Mozart, but in vain. I only 
heard him say, ' In a monarchy we know who is first ; ' which might, 
or might not, refer to this subject. I heard afterwards, that Beet- 
hoven is sometimes inexhaustible in his praise of Mozart. It is re- 
markable that he cannot hear his own earlier works praised ; and I 
learned that it was the surest way to vex him, if one complimented 
him upon his septuor and the trios. He is most fond of his last 
creations, among the rest his Second Mass, which he considers his 
best work. He is now writing a new opera, called ' Melusina,' of 
which the text is by the poet Grillparzer. Beethoven is a great 
admirer of the ancients. Homer, especially the Odyssey, and Plu- 
tarch, he prefers to all others. Of his own country's poets, he has 
studied particularly Schiller and Gothe. He has the most favorable 
opinion of the British nation. ' I like,' said he, ' the noble sin* 


plicity of the English manners, and added other praise besides. It 
seemed to nt e as if he still cherished a hope or visiting England 
with his nephew. I must not forget, that I have heard a trio by 
him, for piano-forte, violin, and violoncello, while it was still in 
manuscript. It impressed me as very beautiful, and I hear it will 
soon appear in London. I could tell much more of this extraordi- 
nary man, who, after what I have seen and experienced, has filled 
me with the deepest reverence. The friendly way in which he 
treated me, and bade me farewell, has made an impression on me 
which will last for life." 

Of not less interest than the preceding is the account by an Eng- 
lish lady of a visit to Beethoven in October, 1825. Then also he 
was living in the little town of Baden, near Vienna. " I had been 
told," writes the lady, " that I must be prepared for a rough and 
forbidding reception. When we arrived, Beethoven had just come 
home in a shower, and was about to change his coat. From what I 
had heard of his brusque character, I was apprehensive that he 
might not receive us heartily, as with hasty steps he came out from 
a side-chamber. He accosted us in a very polite, friendly, and 
agreeable manner. He is very short-built and haggard, but atten- 
tive enough to his personal appearance. He remarked that Herr 
H. was very fond of Handel, said that he loved him also, and went 
on for a long time praising that great composer. I conversed 
with him by writing, since I found it impossible to make myself 
heard ; and, though this was an awkward mode of communication, 
it did not require much, since Beethoven always talked on freely and 
without prompting, and neither replied to questions, nor seemed to 
expect long answers. I ventured to express to him my admiration 
for hio compositions, and praised, among other things, his " Ade- 
laide." He remarked very modestly, that this poem of Matthison was 
very beautiful. He spoke French well. He would have learned 
also, he said, to speak English ; but his deafness had prevented him 
from going further into that language than to learn to read it. He 
preferred the English writers to the French. ' Us sont plus vrav*.' 
said he. Thomson is his favorite author ; but particularly great 
is his admiration for Shakspeare. When we rose to take our 
leave, Beethoven begged us to stay longer. ' Je veux vous dormer un 
souvenir de moi,' said he. Whereupon he went into a side-chamber, 
and wrote a short canon for the piano-forte, which he handed to me 
in a very friendly manner. Then he requested me to spell my name 
to him, so that he might superscribe his impromptu correctly. Then 
he took me by the arm, and led me into the chamber where he had 
written, so that I might see the whole of his quarters, which wero 
altogether those of an author, but perfectly neat. Although they 
betrayed no sign of abundance or of wealth, yet they showed no 
want of useful furniture or nice arrangement. I led him cautiously 


back into a chamber on the other side, in which stood his Broad- 
wood grand piano ; but he seemed to me to grow melancholy at thi) 
sight of the instrument. Also he remarked that it was not in a fit 
condition, for the tuner in the country was extrao: dinarily bad. Hi? 
struck a few keys, to convince me of it. In spite of that, I laid the 
manuscript which he had given me upon the desk ; and he played it 
simply through after he bad preluded with three or four chords. 
Thereupon he stopped ; and I would not for any price have urged 
him more, since I found that he himself had no pleasure in playing. 
We then took leave of one another ; and Beethoven told me, that, if 
he ever came to England, he would certainly visit us." 

One of his brother artists, Carl Maria von Weber, describes the 
reception which he found a few years earlier (1823) with Beet- 
hoven, in these words : " We went several times to see him. He 
was in bad humor, and fled all human society. But finally we suc- 
ceeded in finding the favorable moment. We were conducted in ; 
and we saw him sitting at his writing-desk, from which, however, he 
did not rise to welcome us. Beethoven had known me for some 
years, so that I could enter into a conversation with him. Suddenly 
he sprang up, stood upright before me, and, laying his hands on my 
shoulders, shook me with a sort of rough heartiness, saying, 'You 
have always been a clever fellow.' Whereupon he embraced me 
in an extremely kind and affectionate manner. Of all the marks 
of distinction which I received in Vienna, of all the fame and 
praise which I reaped there, nothing has so touched my heart as 
this brotherly kiss of Beethoven." 

With the physical sufferings which he was never altogether 
bpared, and which came home to him in increased measure in ths 
last years of his life, was coupled the humiliation of seeing all 
Vienna intoxicated by the voluptuous melodies of Rossini, ap- 
parently almost forgetting him and his works. Then a few real 
friends of art addressed a memorial to Beethoven, full of the most 
admiring recognition of his talent, and containing an urgent re- 
quest that he would soon bring out his last two great works, the 
"Ninth Symphony " and the "Missa Solennis." The concert in 
which these works were produced took place. But their creator 
heard them not. Only by turning round was his attention called to 
the storm of applause from the audience, which seemed as if it 
never would end. Yet, at the repetition, the house was empty : 
it was scarcely to be expected otherwise of a public enthusiastic 
about Rossini's melodies. 

Beethoven had resolved to offer his " Missa Solennis " in manu- 
script to the European courts for the price of fifty ducats. But 
only the Emperor of Russia and the kings of France, Prussia, and 
Saxony, accepted Beethoven's offer. Besides these, Prince An- 
lo:. von Radzivil in Vienna, and Herr Schelble, director of the 


Csecilia Society in Frankfort-on-the-Main, subscribed. The Prus- 
sian ambassador at Vienna had the question privately put to Beet- 
hoven, whether perhaps an order would not be more welcome to 
him than the fifty ducats. But Beethoven decided, without a 
moment's hesitation, for the latter. The Kins' of France sent him 
a large golden medal, with his bust on one side, and the inscrip- 
tion, "Donne par le Roi a M. Beethoven" upon the other. Beet- 
hoven also wrote to Cherubini upon this occasion, but received nc 
answer. Still his works, especially the later ones, commanded a 
very respectable price from publishers. For every one of his late 
sonatas and quartettes, he got from forty to eighty ducats ; but for 
many other works much too little. There were not wanting cases 
in which he was cheated out of his well-earned reward. Thus, 
among others, a Russian prince, Nicolaus von Gallitzan, in 1824, 
had ordered three quartettes for stringed instruments for a stipu- 
lated price of one hundred and twenty-five ducats ; yet, after re- 
ceiving the quartettes, he never sent the money, although repeated- 
ly reminded. 

But Beethoven had to suffer a still deeper wound, in the latter 
portion of his life, through the extremely culpable behavior of his 
nephew, for whose education, as we have before said, he had shrunk 
from no sacrifice, often depriving himself to do for him whatever lay 
within his power. It was on the 2d of December, 1826, that Beet- 
hoven returned to Vienna with his ungrateful protege in an open 
carriage, because his brother Johann, at whose country-seat he had 
spent some time, would not let him use the covered one. The 
inclement season and the bad weather had the most injurious con- 
sequences for Beethoven's health. He was taken with a lung-fever, 
which soon passed into dropsy. In vain did he send for his old 
physicians, Braunhofer and Staudenheim. Only some days after- 
wards did Dr. Wavruch hear by accident of Beethoven's illness, 
and that he was in want of a physician. He went to him immedi- 
ately. Nearly two months later was Beethoven's former physician 
and friend, Dr. Malfatti, moved to visit him, and join Dr. WavrucL 
in his treatment. Meanwhile the disease had made such rapid prog- 
ress that Beethoven had at short intervals to undergo four opera- 

In this melancholy condition, he became anxious about the means 
of providing for the most necessary wants, since his entire stock o\ 
money only amounted to one hundred florins. Convention coin. It 
occurred to him to turn to the Philharmonic Society in London, and 
ask their assistance. Accordingly he wrote to Moscheles in London, 
whose reply described the sad impression which his melancholy sit- 
uation had produced. This letter was accompanied by the sum of 
ne hundred pounds, sent him by the Philharmonic Society. The} 
begged him to accept this sum lor the time being, and to apply tc 
them further should he be in need. 


Beethoven viewed the approach of death with resignation. What 
ever he left behind him, he bequeathed to his nephew, little as he 
had deserved it. Upon his yet remaining original scores, he wrote, 
with his own hand, that he left them to one or his friends, who had 
especially assisted him in the last period of his life by word and 
deed. In the midst of various plans for newly-projected works, 
among others an oratorio, " The Triumph of the Cross," he yielded, 
after many sufferings, to the final fate, surrounded by his brother 
Johann and a few of his most intimate friends. During a fearful 
thunder-storm, accompanied with hail, upon the 26th of March, 
1827, a quarter before six o'clock in the evening, he rendered up 
his spirit. 

An eye-witness informs us of his last days, " When I came to him 
on the morning of the 24th of March, I found his whole face dis- 
turbed, and himself so weak that he could scarcely with the greatest 
effort utter two or three words. Soon after came his physician, 
Dr. Wavruch. He looked at him a few moments, and then said to 
me, ' Beethoven is rapidly hastening towards dissolution ! ' Since 
we had concluded the business of his will, as well as could be, the 
day before, one longing wish alone remained to us, to make his 
peace with Heaven, and at the same time to show to the world 
that he had closed his life as a true Christian. Dr. Wavruch 
begged him in writing, in the name of all his friends, to receive the 
holy sacrament ; to which he answered perfectly composed and 
calmly, ' I will.' The priest came about four o'clock, and the ser- 
vice was performed with the greatest edification. He now seemed 
to be convinced himself of his near end ; for scarcely had the 
clergyman gone, when he said to me and the surrounding friends, 
'Plaudite amid, comredia Jinita est ! Have I not always said that 
it would so come V ' Towards evening he lost his consciousness, 
and began to wander. This continued until the evening of the 
25th, when visible symptoms of death showed themselves. Yet 
he did not die until a quarter before six in the evening of the 

Beethoven's early friend, so often mentioned, Stephen von 
Breuning, together with the music-director, A. Schindler, took 
charge of the funeral. It took place on the 29th of March. An 
almost immeasurable multitude of men, of the most different con- 
ditions, followed the hearse in long procession from the house to 
the neighboring church, where the consecration of the corpse took 
place. Beethoven's earthly remains were then borne to the burial- 
ground before the Wahring Line. There the actor Anschuetz pro- 
nounced a funeral discourse composed by Grillparzer. A silver 
medal was stamped to Beethoven's memory ; and soon his bust 
adorned the hall where the tones of his master-works resounded. 

Of Beethovou's outward appearance, one of his friends sketches 


A visible portrait in these words : " He was five feet four inches 
(Vienna measure) in height, of compact and sturdy frame, as well 
as powerful muscles. His head was uncommonly large, covered with 
long, snarly, almost entirely gray hair, which not seldom hung in 
disorder about his head. His forehead was high and broad ; his 
small brown eye, in smiling, drew back almost into his head. 
But suddenly it dilated to uncommon size, and either roiled and 
flashed about, the pupil almost always turned upwards, or it did 
not move at all, and looked fixedly before him, if any idea got 
possession of him. At such times his whole outward appearance 
underwent a sudden change, and wore a visibly inspired and im- 
posing aspect, so that his little form seemed to lift itself upward 
like a giant." 

In this insignificant bodily husk dwelt a beautiful soul. From 
the indications already given of Beethoven's character, it is plain 
that he was a thoroughly noble man, endowed with the most loving 
heart. All that appeared to him false, low, immoral, or unjust, he 
hated in his deepest soul. But, on the other hand, worldly prudence, 
and knowledge of men, were wholly strange things to him. It has 
already been mentioned several times, how easily he flew into a 
passion, and thereby did crying injustice to his best and truest 
friends, merely because he either saw things in a false light, or he 
had been excited and made mistrustful by ill-meaning persons. 
Fortunately, however, he soon recognized his own injustice, and 
was the first to hold out the hand of reconciliation. 

Thus he wrote one day, on sending his portrait, to his friend 
Stephen von Breuning, with whom he had fallen out, " Behind this 
picture, my good, dear Stephen, be forever hidden what for a long 
time has passed between us. I know I have rent thy heart. My 
own pained feelings, which you- must surely have remarked, had 
punished me enough for it. It was no wickedness on my part, else 
J were no more worthy of thy friendship. Passion on thy part and 
on mine. But mistrust towards thee was awakened in me : mep 
placed themselves between us, who were not worthy of thee and me 
My portrait was already long ago intended for thee : you know that 
I had always intended it for some one. To whom could I so well 
give it with the warmest heart as to thee, faithful, good, noble 
Stephen ? Forgive me if I have caused thee pain : I suffered not 
less myself. When for so long a time I saw thee no more about 
me, then I began to feel right vividly how dear thou art and ever 
wilt be to my heart. Now perhaps thou wilt fly back into my 
arms, as tbrmerly." 

The usual consequences of deafness mistrust, ill humor, and 
reserve manifested themselves in a high degree in Beethoven. 
He hated all formality. Hence he only went unwillingly to the 
Archduke Rudolph's, his illustrious pupil, carefu 1 HS that prince 


was to exempt him from these formalities. So, too, he once aban- 
doned beautiful lodgings at the villa of Baron von Pronay, for no 
other reason than because the baron, when he met him, made him 
too profound bows. For similar reasons he often, as we have before 
said, changed his lodgings ; so that he had to pay for tisro, three, and 
at one time even four dwelling-places at once. From this it is 
easily understood how he, although he had a decent income, never 
laid up any thing, but rather, by the confession of his own letters, 
found himself not seldom in pecuniary embarrassment. Yet he 
never suffered real personal privations. 

As a musician, there were united in Beethoven the most thorough 
musical knowledge with the happy talent for inventing charming 
melodies. In his earlier works, especially in his piano variations, 
sonatas, trios and quartettes, he followed essentially the direction 
which Haydn,who moreover was his teacher, and Mozart, had given 
to instrumental music. He sympathized with Haydn's humor and 
with Mozart's tender feeling. Even in many of his later works, in 
several symphonies and sonatas, above all in his wonderful B fiat 
major Trio, that tendency predominated in him. But whereas 
Haydn turned afterwards especially to church music, and Mozart 
established his fame forever as a dramatic composer, Beethoven 
struck into an entirely opposite path. His withdrawal from the, 
world and its appearances, from the pictures, forms, and laws of the 
drama and the church, led him into the domain of instrumental 
music, and here, again, to the confidential, private, self-satisfying 
piano-forte. His piano compositions became the circle in which hiu 
musical creative power moved almost exclusively. By a more ap- 
propriate treatment, by a deeper entering into the character and 
capabilities of his favorite instrument, Beethoven soon left his great 
predecessors behind him. His tone-figures, his chords, were richer 
and fuller: the melody came out clearer and more distinct through 
the arrangement of the subordinate voices. Every connoisseur in 
the art must have soon convinced himself how his genuis buried 
itself in these tones, and elevated this his chosen instrument to bti 
his most peculiar organ. 

With years, and the steady ripening of his talent, Beethoven's 
musical ideas and outpourings of feeling became ever grander, 
mightier, and more transporting. Deeper than formerly had a theme 
to be felt, to be able to enchain him long. His works rose gradually 
to a spiritual and plastic unity of feeling which his great predeces- 
sors in similar compositions had not reached. His absorption in an 
idea, his revelling in a feeling, often led him to an insatiable pitch. 
He could not make an end ; and always, after every rich gush of 
feeling, he sent another deeper still. It was wonderful, at the same 
time, how the overflowing stream of his feeling never overstepped 
the prescribed lines of a form circumspectly chosen, but only ex- 


panded it in a legitimate way. He was always meditating upon 
new combinations, which to one not fully initiated in the art ap- 
peared often strange, or even bizarre. 

Rich and deep as his piano compositions and quartettes, nay, 
grander and mightier were Beethoven's orchestral works, in which 
his genius could move more boldly and freely. If any thing re- 
mained unattainable to him, it was the innocent clearness, com- 
parable to the blue heavens, of Haydn's instrumentation. It better 
corresponded with Beethoven's nature, as a gifted writer expressed 
it, to lead us into a cloud or storm, or into the rosy atmosphere of 
an Indian night. He had grown so to live in the voices of his in- 
strumental world, that he felt himself more related to them than 
to human beings, from intercourse with whom he was separated by 
his weakness -of hearing. What intercourse with men did not 
afford him, these voices murmured and whispered to his soul : he 
infused his own feeling, his own consciousness, into his instru- 

The greatness of his musical talent revealed itself already in 
his earliest works, in his " First Mass ; " in the oratorio, " Christ 
at the Mount of Olives ; " then in his opera, " Leonora," afterwards 
remodelled under the title of " Fidelio," which may be called the 
most perfect dramatic creation since Mozart, and stands beside his 
masterworks. Beethoven's music to Gothe's " Egmont," his over- 
ture to " Coriolanus," translated the works of the poets better for 
him than he could have done it in the form of vocal music. The 
depth and inwardness of his feeling expressed itself in the most 
various states of mind. Touchingly resounded the melting, never- 
ending farewell of a loving pair in his sonata, " Les Adieux, 
1'Absence et le Retour." In his C minor Symphony, Beethoven 
knew how to represent, in an inimitable manner, how a strong soul, 
after severe, painful conflict with gloomy doubts, inspired by look- 
ing up to heaven, lifts itself in strength and clearness to an un- 
shakable conviction. His " Sonata quasi una Fantasia," he wrote 
when he had been deceived in a tender passion, and had to tear 
himself violently away. Among Beethoven's numerous composi- 
tions, his " Battle of Vittoria," of which so much has been said, 
and his " Pastoral Symphony," have maintained no insubordinate 
place. Attractive also were the images from a heroic life in his 
" Sinfonia Eroica." 

The greatest part of his works show always a uniform succession 
of ideas, now resting upon outward circumstances, and now upon 
determinate views of human life in general or of his own life. 
Never, or at the most very rarely, in his works, did a thought once 
heard return again. Even his accompaniment was always new. 
Each one of his compositions had its own peculiar circle, in which 
it coincided with no other ; in each a new, self-contained world 


revealed itself; each brought forth special, unmistakable *, 
scenes of life, or images of nature. Such a variety were hardly 
possible, without that genuine poetic tendency to individual 
shaping of his creations which reigned in Beethoven's nature. 
But to this tendency he could resign himself more uninterruptedly 
than most composers. 

Withdrawn from the actual world, he lived only in the realm of 
tones. Into the voiceless solitude his love-craving and with-love- 
overflowing heart accompanied him. Deep, unsatisfied yearning 
seemed to be the ground-tone, especially in many of his later 
works. As in his outward life he longed in vain for the bliss of 
domestic life ; so in his art he turned with longing love towards 
men. He gave the deepest expression to these feelings in his 
masterly composition of the song of Schiller, " To Joy." Some 
striking remarks upon the character of his music in general are 
contained in a little pamphlet which appeared in Dresden in 1854, 
under the title, " Beethoven's Symphonien nach ihren idealen 

Eighteen years after Beethoven's death had passed, when his 
native city, Bonn, honored him by the erection of a colossal 
monument in bronze, for which the sculptor Haehnel, in Dresden, 
modelled the design. The monument is twenty-five feet in height ; 
the statue itself being ten feet, and the pedestal fifteen feet. Beet- 
hoven is represented in the inspired moment of artistic activity. 
While the upward look betrays the lightning of a creative thought, 
the right hand lifts itself, as if involuntarily, to write down the 
thought at once upon the note-book held in the left hand. In the 
whole bearing of the figure, and in the energetic expression of the 
features, you see at the first glance a man who wills to achieve 
something great, extraordinary, and who is conscious also of the 
power to do it. The four reliefs, which adorn the pedestal, are 
happily conceived. On the front side, we have Imagination in 
flying robe, hastening away upon the back of a sphynx. On the 
opposite side is Instrumental Music, or rather Symphony as its 
representative, a floating female figure, surrounded by four genii, 
which indicate the four parts of the symphony : the first holds the 
eword, the second the serpent and the torch reversed, the third the 
thyrsus and the castanets, the fourth the triangle. On the two 
sides, we see two sitting female figures, one of which, playing the 
organ, represents Church Music ; the other, with two masks, Dra- 
matic Music. 

The unveiling of the monument took place, amid many solemni- 
ties, on the 12th of August, 1845. Two days before, Beethoven's 
" Missa Solemnis " in D, and his last symphony with chorus, were 

Beethoven's Symphonies with reference to their Ideal content*. 


performed under the direction of Kapell-meister Spohr, in a splendid 
hall, then newly built. On the 12th of August, at nine o'clock in 
the morning, a numerous procession walked to the cathedral, 
where Prof. Breidenstein conducted the performance of Beet- 
hoven's Mass in C. After the mass, the procession moved to the 
public square, where an immeasurable multitude were already 
assembled, including many strangers from all parts of Germany. 
At twelve o'clock, the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells 
announced the arrival of the King of Prussia, Frederick William 
IV., and several members of the royal family. The unveiling of 
the monument followed a festival discourse pronounced by Prof. 
Breidensteiu, and was succeeded by a chorus of men's voices 
with an accompaniment of wind instruments. The festivities were 
closed by a second grand concert in the Fest-hall, in which, under 
the alternate direction of Spohr and Liszt, several of Beethoven's 
works were performed : his overture to " Coriolanus," a concerto in 
E flat major, a quartette-canon from " Fidelio," a string quartette 
in E flat, a grand scene with chorus from the oratorio, " Christ at 
the Mount of Olives," his C minor Symphony, and finally the 
second finale from "Fidelio." 

A letter of Beethoven to Matthisson, whose poem, " Adelaide,'' 
he composed, may be regarded as a relic. This letter, written in 
the earliest period of his life in Vienna, affords, by its pervading 
tone of modesty, an interesting contribution to the characteristics of 
Beethoven. " You have here," he writes (Vienna, Aug. 4, 1800), 
" a composition of mine which has already been for some years 
published, and of which you perhaps, to my shame, as yet know 
nothing. I can perhaps excuse myself, and tell you why I dedi- 
cated a thing, which came so warm out of my heart, to you, and yet 
did not inform you of it, by stating, that, in the first place, I did 
not know where you resided ; and again, on the ground of shyness, 
since I feared I had been too forward in dedicating to you any 
thing, of which I knew not whether it had your approbation. 
Even now I send you the "Adelaide " with misgiving. You your- 
self know what a change a few years produce in an artist who is 
constantly progressing. The farther one has advancd in art, the 
less do his earlier works satisfy him. My greatest wish is satisfied, 
if the musical composition of your heavenly " Adelaide " does not 
entirely displease you ; and if you shall be moved thereby to pro- 
duce soon another similar poem, and do not find my request pre- 
sumptuous, that you will send it to me at once. I will then sum- 
mon up all my powers, to come near to your beautiful poetry. 
Consider the dedication as a sign of my gratitude and high estima- 
tion for the blissful satisfaction which your poetry has alwayi 
given me and will still give me." 




(Tile works marked with parentheses are the composer' a own arrangements.) 


For Orchettra. 

I. Symphony in C major Op. 21 

8. inDmajor 6 

3. (Heroic) in Eb major 65 

4. in Hb major 80 

6. InCminor 87 

8. (Pastoral) in F major 68 

7. inAmajor 92 

8. in F major 93 

9. (with finale chorus) D minor 125 

The creatures of Prometheus. Ballet 43 

Allegretto in Eb major. 

Overture and Entr' acte to Gothe's Egmont 84 

Triumphal march from the opera King Stephen in O major. Sec. D. 2. 
Triumphal march from the tragedy of Tarpeja In O major. 

Wellington's victory, or the Battle of Victoria 91 

Overture to Prometheus In C major 43 

to Coriolanus in O minor 62 

to Leonore No. 1 In C major 138 

to No.2inOmajor , 72 

to No.SinCmajor 72 

to Fidelio (Leonore No. 4) In E major 72 

to Egmont in F minor 84 

to the ruins of Athena In O , 113 

to the Fete-day (Namensfelrr) in G Major 115 

to King Stephen In Eb major 117 

to the consecration of the House in major 124 


for Violin with Orchestra, Septette, Sextette, Quintette, Quartette, Trio*. 

Romanza for Violin with Orchestra In G major ,.. 40 

for Violin with Orchestra in F major 60 

Concerto for Violin with Orchestra In D major 81 

Septette for Violin, Viol, Horn, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violoncello, and 

Contra-bass, Eb major 20 

Bextotte for 2 Violins, Viol, Violoncello, and 2 horns in Eb major Sl h 



I. Quintette for 2 Violins, 2 Viols, and Violoncello in Eb major 4 

1. Quintette for 2 Violins, 2 Viols, and Violoncello in C major -- 29 

(Quintette for 2 Violins, 2 Viols, and Violoncello in C minor from Trio 

Op. lNo.3) 104 

?ugue for 2 Violins, 2 Viols, and Violoncello in D major 137 

1. Quartette for 2 Violins, 

Viol, and Violoncello in F major ' 

fNo. 1 


T> < 


. . J 

Op. 18. ^ 





In Ph m nr 



. TO .^ I 

1 Ti 1 mi > O 10 ^ 


in C major i i 


Op. 74 


. . J 




p h ioV 

i tj na p minor. 101 


Great Fueue in Bb maior. . 

. 133 

Andante Favori in F major (No. 35.) 
(Quartette for 2 Violins, Viol, and Violoncello from Sonata for Piano-forte 
Op. 14, No. 1. 

1. Trio for Violin, Viol, and Violoncello In Eb major. Op. 1 

2. in Q- major. ) iKo. 2 

3. In D major. > Op. 9. J 3 

4. In O minor. ) C 3 

Serenade for Violin, Viol, &c., in D major. Op. 8 


Wind Instruments. 

Rondino for 2 Ob., 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, and 2 Horns in Eb major. 
(Octette for 2 Ob., 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, and 2 Bassoons, Eb major from 

Quintette Op. 4.) ................ . ................................ Op. 103 

Bextette for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, and 2 Baseoons in Eb major ........... 71 

Serenade for Flute, Violin, and Viol ....... D major .................... 25 

Trio 2 Ob., and English horn in O major ............................... 87 

> Duos for Clarinet and Bassoon C major, F major, Bb major. 

For Piano-forte, with and without Accompaniment. 


Piano-forte, with Orchestra, Quintette, Quartette, Trios, Duos. 

Concerto No. 1 in O major with Orchestra .............................. Op. 15 

- 2inBbmajor -- ............................. 19 

- 3 in C minor -- .............................. 37 

4 in Q major -- ................. , ............ 68 

- 5 in Kb major -- .............................. 73 

l - for Piano-forte with Orchestra in D major, from Concerto for 

Violin Op. 61.) 

- for Piano-forte, Violin, and Violoncello in C major with Or- 
chestra ................................................... 56 

Fantasia with chorna and orchestra in C minor ....................... 80 



Aon do in Bb major with Orchestra. 

Grand Quintette for Piano, Ob., Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon In Kb 

major II 

1'hree original Quartettes for Piano, Violin, Viol, and Violoncello In Bb 
major, D major, C major 

Trio for Piano-forte, Violin, and Violoncello, No. 1 in Bb major. ) t No. 1 

No. 2 in G major. > Op. 1. \ t 

No. 3 in O minor. ) ( 8 

No. 4 In D major, j ~ 7n ( 1 

No. 5 in Eb major. \ P >TO - J 2 

No. 6 In Bb major. 97 

No. 7 in Bb major, 1 Position. 

No. 8 in Eb major. 

Adagio, Variations, and Rondo hi G major (Ich bin der Schneider 

Kakadu.) Op. 121* 

14 Variations in Eb major 44 

(Grand Sonata in Eb major from Quintette Op 4.) 63 

(Trio from Second Symphony. Op. 38.) 
for Piano-forte, Clarinet (or Violin), and Violoncello In Bb major. 11 


:No. i 

Op. 23 

(No. 1 



Rondo in G major. 

12 Variations (Se vuol Ballare) in F major, No. l k . 

12 Variations in G major (Thcma from Judas Maccabsenn) with Violin 

(or Violoncello). No. 5. 
7 Variations in Eb major (Bel mannern.) No. 10. 

Sonata for Piano-forte and Violoncello (or Violin,) 

No. 1 in F major. I n^ . ( No. 1 

No. 2 in G minor, j P- 5 - J _ a 

No. Sin A major. 69. 

No. 4 in C major. ) ln< , i No. 1 

No. 5 in Dmajor. j " >102 - j a 

12 Variations j (Bin Madchen od W.) 66. 

In F major, j (La Vie est un voyage.) 

(Sonata In Eb major, with Violoncello) [from Trio Op. 3] Op. 64) x 

Sonata, In F major, with Horn 17 

6 Varied Themes, with Flute or Violin 105 

10 107 

Nocturne in D major, with Bassoon (from Serenade Op. 8) 42 

Serenade In D major, with Flute or Violin, from Serenade Op. 26 41 


For Piano-forte. Four Hand*. 

Sonata in D major (easy) Op. 

Three Marches. C major, Eb major, D major 45 

Triumphal March from the Opera King Stephen, in G major 

Variations (Theme from Countess of Waldstein). C major 

6 (I think of thee) in Dmajor No. 27 

Grand fugue hi Bb major (from Op. 133) Op. 134 

Sonata for Piano-forte and Violin, 

No. 1 D major, > 
No. 2 A major. > 
No. 3 Eb major. > 
No. 4 A minor, 
No. 5 F major. 
No. 6 A major. ) 
No. 7 C minor. > 
No. 8 G major. ) 
No. 9 A major. 
N"o. 10 O- maior. 

Op. 12. 

Op. 80. 



For Pianoforte Alone. 

Bonata No. 1. In Eb major ) i No. I 

2.inFminor S (with Op. No. 1.) ?No. 1 

3. in D major ) (No. 3 

4.inFminor ) (No. 1 

S.inAmajor > Op. 2. ?No. 2 

6.inCmajor ) (No. 3 

I. in Eb major T. 

S.inCminor ) / No. 1 

9. in F major > U. ?No. 2 

10. in D major J < No. 3 

11 . in C minor (pathetic) Op. 13 

12. in E major ) .. I No. 1 

IS.inGmajor \ " j No. 2 

14. in Bb major 22. 

15. in Ab major 28. 

16. in Eb major (quasi Fantasia). 27. No. 1 

17. in C sharp minor (quasi Fantasia). 27. No. 2 

IS.inDmajor 28. 

19. in G major. > e No. I 

20.inDminor 5 SO. ?No. 2 

21. in Eb major ) ?No. 3 

22.inGminor ( . ffl INo. 1 

23. in G major \ j No. 3 

24.inCmajor 63. 

25. in F major 64. 

26. in F minor (appassionato). 67. 

27. in F sharp major 78. 

28. in G major (Sonatlne) 79. 

29. in Eb major (Adieu, Ab- 
sence, and Return) 81m. 

SO.inEminor 90. 

31. in A major 101. 

32. in Bb major (for Hammer- 
Clavier) 108. 

33.inEmajor 109. 

34. in Abmajor - 110. 

35. in C minor ,. 111. 

36. in C major (easy) 


6 Variations (Original Theme) F major Op. 34 

15 (with Fugue) Eb major 35 

6 D major 76 

33 Changes in C major 120 

9 Variations C minor (March by Dressier) 

9 A major (Quant' e piu Bello) 

6 G major (Nel cor pid non mi sento) 

12 C major (Minuet a la Vigano) 

12 A major (Russian Dance) 

8 C major (Une fievre brfllante). . 

10 Bb major (Lastessa. la stessisima) 

7 F major (Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen) 

8 F major (Tandeln u. scherzen) 

13 A major (Es war einmal ein alter mann) 

6 G major (very easy) ... 

6 F major (Swiss air) 

24 D major (Vienni, Amore) 

7 C major (God save the king) 

I D major (Rule, Britamia) , 


22 C minor 

8 Bb major (Ich hub' ein kleines HUttchen nur) 

7 Bagatelles Op. 3H 

6 12fi 

12 New Bagatelles 119 

Derniere Pensee Musicale Bb major. 

Fantasie O minor Op. 77 

Minuet Eb major. 

6 Minuets. 
12 Minuets. 
Military March D major. 

Polonaise C major Op. 8! 

Prelude F minor No. 29 

2Preludes Op. 38 

2 Roudos major, O major 61 

Rondo aCapriccio, G major 130 

Rondo A major. 

6 Contra Dances. 

6 Rustic Dancea (Laodler). 

12 German Dances. 



ileuses. Oratorios, Operas, Cantatas, and other Vocal Pieces, with Orchestral 
Accompaniment or with Several Instruments. 

Christ on the Mount of Olives. Oratorio Op. 85 

Mass (3 Hymns) in C major 86 

(Mlssa Solennis) in D major 123 

Leonore. Opera In two Acts 72 

Fidello(Leonore). Opera in two Acts 72 

Bundeslied (from Gothe) 122 

The Glorious Moment. Cantata (by Weissenbach).) 

Praise of Harmony. Cantata (by Rochlitz) Ot>. 136, 117 

Egmont (Overture, Songs, and Entr' Acts.) See A. 

Elegiac Song Op. !18 

Fantasie, with chorus. See D. 1 80 

The sea at rest and prosperous voyage ( Meeresstille) (by Gothe) 112 

Song of Sacrifice (Opferlied) (by Matthison) 121 b 

Tho Ruins of Athens (by Kotzebue) Op. 113, 114 

(Overture Op. 113. March and Chorus [No. 6] Op. 114.) 

Scene and Aria (Ah, Perfido !) .... Op. 65 

Ninth Symphony, with Finale Chorus. See A. 

Terzetto (Tremate, empi. tremate) 116 


Songs and Airs urith and without Piano-forte Accompaniment. 

Adelaide (by Matthieon) Op. 46 

Remembrance ( Andenken) (by Matthison) Op. 142 

To the distant loved one (An die ferae Geliebte, Cycle of Songs, by A. 

Jeitteles) Op. 98 

To Hope (An die Hoffnung, Die du so gem, by Tiedge) 82 

ToHope (Ob ein Gott sei, by Tiedge) 94 

4 Ariettas and one Duet (Italian and German) 82 

Canon. New Year. 

Canon. The pain is short. 

Oanon. To Fr. Kuhlau. 

The Joy of Friendship. (Lebensgliick : Vita felloe.) M 


The Parting. (Der Abshied. ) 
The Free Man. 

TheKiss. Arietta (by Weisse) 191 

The Man of his Word (by Kleinschmld) W 

Sensations at Lydia's faithlessness. 

Think of me. (Gedenke mein.) 

Poems (Six German, from Reissig's Flowers of Solitude). 

Song of the Monks, from Schiller's William Tell. 
3 Songs. 

6 by Gothe Op. 76 

3 - - 83 

8 52 

1 love thee. 

2 Songs. 

6 Songs ( by Gellert) Op. 48 

25 Scotch Songs (German and English, with accompaniment of Piano, 

Violin, and Violoncello) 108 

Song from afar (leid aus d. feme). 

Merkenstein (by Rupprecht) - 100 

O das Ich dir vom stillen Auge. 

Song of Sacrifice. Opferlied. 

Finale Song. (The portals of Honor. ) (Good news.) 

Longing. (Sehnsucht, by Gothe.) Four melodies. 

Sighs of an Unbeloved, by Burger ; and the Loud complaint, by Herder. 

Mourning Song at Burial . (Miserere) 

Sounds of mourning at Beethoven's Grave. 

Drinking Song. 

The Quail's Note (Wachtelschlag.; 


L. van Beethoven's Studies, in thorough bass, counterpoint, and tern-